Neighbors helping neighbors. In essence that’s what South Pasadena’s Neighborhood Watch program is all about.
In the constant battle against crime, South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Ortiz says it’s increasingly important for citizens to recognize the potential for an offense in their neighborhoods and to never hesitate to call police should they become suspicious of any wrongdoing.
“The key person in any Neighborhood Watch group is the block captain,” explained Ortiz. “This person is an integral component to keeping the block actively involved in crime prevention efforts as well as the important process of information exchange between neighbors.”
South Pasadena police officials met with about 50 block captains in the library community room to discuss their role. It’s part of an annual reminder that block captains serve a major need in providing laws enforcement with additional protection.
Ortiz opened the meeting with a brief introduction, followed by South Pasadena Fire Department Division Chief Eric Zanteson, who addressed the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, designed to educate residents about disaster preparedness and provide training in fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and how to effectively respond to hazards.
The city’s Public information Officer John Pope talked about his position with the City of South Pasadena in gathering facts and distributing them to the media. Among his duties, Pope produces printed material about the City of South Pasadena for dissemination to the public. He also may be responsible for organizing special events such as news conferences and awards ceremonies.
Detective Richard Lee passed along some crime prevention tips to audience members and provided additional information about the Neighborhood Watch program.
Near the end of the meeting, several of the block captains were recognized for their service in the Neighborhood Watch program. One individual was applauded for committing 24 years.
For more information about the city’s Neighborhood Watch program, call Crime Prevention Officer Richard Lee at (626) 403-7297.