§ Watch the Neighborhood Safety Video click here or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHBBZ8XVIHU
§ Top 25 Safety Tips and your path to adopting safety best practice click here or visit
§ Your chance to collaborate, innovate, stimulate safety best practices for Saratoga...Join the Safe
Saratoga Citizen's Collaboration Forum https://www.facebook.com/groups/safesaratoga
Take the safety survey http://www.tinyurl.com/LetUsChat
§ The 10-step process to establishing Neighborhood Safety Watch programs www.RishiKumar.com/NSW
Find your neighborhood here or perhaps start a new one by emailing rkumar<at>saratoga.ca.us
§ Listing of new Neighborhood Safety Watch initiatives Iaunched so far www.RishiKumar.com/NSW
§ City of Saratoga Safety page http://www.saratoga.ca.us/stayingsafe
§ The Saratoga crime spreadsheet (by Fred Burger) http://tinyurl.com/SaratogaCrimeSpreadsheet
§ Subscribe to crime reports from your neighborhood https://www.crimereports.com/ (it is a free service)
§ Weekly crime summary http://www.saratoga.ca.us/cityhall/sheriffs_office/weekly_activity_summary.as
§ Neighborhood Safety Watch program explained
- How to start a neighborhood Safety Watch for your neighborhood? Watch the video here or https://
- What is a Neighborhood Watch program http://www.RishiKumar.com/nsw
- Role of a Neighborhood Watch Captain/Coordinator http://www.RishiKumar.com/nsw
- Role of a block captain http://www.RishiKumar.com/nsw
- Presentation on Neighborhood Safety Watch http://tinyurl.com/PrezSafetyWatch
- An hour long HOW TO video www.RishiKumar.com/SafetyVideo
- A Neighborhood Watch overview slide deck http://tinyurl.com/PrezSafetyWatch,
How Safe is Saratoga?
• Safest city in California
– Safest city in California 2013 (at least 20,000 residents)
• Visit http://www.safewise.com/blog/50-safest-cities-california/ to see the complete list
– 2nd Safest city in California 2014
• Safety is a priority
– October 26, 2014 Crime Safety Forum
– Today April 4th, 2015 How to form a neighborhood Safety Watch
– Crime Prevention Forum, at Saratoga Senior Center, Saunders Room on May
19th 6pm to 9pm
– Saratoga Neighborhood Associations meeting at the Senior Center | Saunders
Room June 3rd 5:30 p.m. Captain Rick Sung will join
– Increase in city’s budget for security
• 12% increase in budget for public safety in 2014
• One more sheriff / 1800 hours more
• City budget is here
• City of Saratoga Crime report
– Click here
• Read Saratoga News
– The crime report is typically a week to two weeks old
Keep up with the latest crime in
Objective: Neighborhood Safety Watch (NSW)
Bridges of cooperation instead of walls of isolation
• Criminals know today that they can move through bay area
neighborhoods, unrestricted, committing crime with impunity.
• An effective Neighborhood Safety Watch program provides an
• What can this program do for you?
– Watch out for each other
– Report all suspicious persons and activities in our neighborhood to the
• give law enforcement probable cause to approach those individuals and
ask them their business.
– Partner with law enforcement, and empower ourselves to protect our
– Overcome our fears.
– Protect our kids
Citizens empowering our own safety
• Safe Saratoga Forum – a neighborhood group
• Our city has adopted Nextdoor. Leverage it
– As of April 2015, 2000+ neighbors are on it
– Signup at Nextdoor.com (it is free)
– Engage in a dialogue with Saratogans, keep up
with the latest
• Safety Tips
• How to Form a Neighborhood Safety Watch
• Communicate with your neighbors
– Start a neighborhood email group
Use case: Success in a neighborhood
• How well do your neighbors know each other?
• Neighborhood Safety Watch is a good first step to bringing the
neighborhood together and building bridges
Establish a focus Area to establish
your Neighborhood Safety Watch
(contain the boundary)
As a result of the Neighborhood Safety Watch Program
we will have “Neighborhood Watch” signs entry points
of the neighborhood.
Step1: Identify “Neighborhood
• If you are thinking of running a program for your neighborhood,
you are the natural lead or the designated coordinator
Role of the Neighborhood Watch Lead
A Notify all residents in your neighborhood in writing (flyer)
concerning establishing a Neighborhood Watch program.
B. Get as many residents in area (40% recommended) to
attend the meeting.
C.Secure a meeting place (library, church, school, etc.).
D. Act as liaison with the police department and disseminate
any information which may lead to the solution of a crime.
E. Identify block captains, structure the collection of
F. Schedule periodic meetings with block captains / residents
Responsibilities of “Neighborhood
• Setup and governance of Neighborhood Safety Watch
• Liaison with city of Saratoga.
• Act as law enforcement liaison that informs their group
about law breaking activities that have occurred in the
• Oversees the distribution of materials and information to
the Block Captains, who in turn inform the homes in their
group. This chain of command reduces duplication and
promotes efficiency and discipline;
• Maintain Master record: Database, work and home
phone numbers, addresses, names and ages of people
in the households as Emergency personnel (911) may
need this information;
Step2: Propose the Neighborhood
Watch program to your neighbors
Form a small planning committee of neighbors to
discuss needs, the level of interest, possible
challenges, and the Watch concept. Hold an initial
meeting to gauge neighbors' interest; establish
purpose of program; and begin to identify issues
that need to be addressed. Stress that a Watch
group is an association of neighbors who look out
for each other's families and property, alert the
police to any suspicious activities or crime in
progress, and work together to make their
community a safer and better place to live.
Step 3: Divide your
neighborhood into zones
Divide your neighborhood into various zones (as needed) and
Identify block captions for each zone. Zones are based upon a
cluster of homes that are close to each other and can easily
keep an eye over each other
Ask for block captain volunteers who are responsible for relaying
information to members on their block, keeping up-to-date
information on residents, and making special efforts to involve
the elderly, working parents, and young people. Block captains
also can serve as liaisons between the neighborhood and the
police and communicate information about meetings and crime
incidents to all residents.
Role of a Block Captain
A Personally visit each dwelling unit in the block, distribute invitations
announcing the meeting, and encourage neighbors to participate.
B. Act as a base station for Operation Identification. This way neighbors can
obtain Operation Identification materials from their Block Captains. The goal
100% participation is essential and the Block Captains is encouraged to
personally contact those neighbors who have not participated.
C.Act as liaison between the Coordinator and the Block Watcher, and
disseminate any information which may lead to the solution of a crime.
D.Distribute crime prevention materials to residents who were unable to
attend the meeting.
E.Act as an information base for residents when they leave for vacation or
any time their home will be empty for a period of time. Find out who has a
key (you are not responsible to keep a key unless you choose to), where
they are going, and how they can be reached in case of emergency.
F.If there is an incident, remind the Block Watchers to report it to the police
department first. Then, when they have time, call their Block Captain, who in
turn will report it to the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator10/4/16 23
To Dos for the Block Captain
• Compile a zone directory and distribute it to neighbors within that zone.
• Work with neighbors within your zone and derive an informal structure to watch
out for each other’s property (example - setup an email alias, provide the email
list to the other neighbors)
• Inform the zone (via phone or email) about law breaking activities that have
occurred in the neighborhood.
• Be cognizant of your zone neighbors away on vacation. (Neighbors to inform the
block captain of upcoming vacations by phone /email).
• Identify a backup
• Compile a phone / email tree.
• Work with their zone homes and derive an informal structure to watch out for
each other’s property;
• Maintain an emergency information and phone numbers (that may not be
available to others in that group)
• Inform the zone about law breaking activities that have occurred in the
• NOTE: Need to get assent from home owner to see if their contact is shareable
Step 4: Coordinator Organizes a
Block Captain meeting
Schedule a separate meeting with only your block
captions, explain to them the purpose and the steps.
Get to know each other, explain the framework of
See if the current block captain can recruit others to fill
the gaps (if any)
Pass on the block caption relevant docs that are
Step 5: Schedule a neighborhood
Schedule a meeting at a location like Saratoga library working
with the Sheriff's office to lock a date. Invite the neighborhood,
sheriff’s office, distribute flyers, post meeting notices, walk door
to door letting folks know.
The Sheriff's office will be there to observe quorum and
neighborhood participation and interest. At this meeting, you
should walk through the Neighborhood Watch program,
introduce the block caption and run through the schematics and
benefit of the neighborhood watch program. Lead should
emphasize that they only ask neighbors to be alert, observant,
and caring—and to report suspicious activity or crimes
immediately to the police. This meeting is the ideal place to walk
through a safety best practices and educate your neighbors. The
sheriff's office will willingly do it. You may present it to your
neighbors also - http://dehavillandcox.weebly.com/safety-tips.html
Introduce the Block Captain
- Explain the role at this neighborhood meeting
• The block captions should be introduced. They should solicit
information from their specific neighbors and put together the
zone specific database, that would be available to each
member of that zone. Prepare a neighborhood map showing
names,addresses, and phone numbers of participating
households and distribute to members. Block captains keep
this map up to date, contacting newcomers to the
neighborhood and rechecking occasionally with ongoing
participants. This link below is relevant for block captains
Block Captain communicates
the plan for their zone
A Act as eyes and ears for your neighbors and report any
B.Study crime prevention material supplied by block
C.Check homes of neighbors when they are out of town.
D.Cooperate with and assist the Block Captain.
E.Secure their own homes in compliance with
recommendations in the Residential Burglary booklet.
Step 6: Communication: Facebook/
Email/ Web Page
Establish a regular means of communicating with Watch members—e.g., newsletter,
telephone tree, e-mail, fax, etc. If you have a neighborhood email group that works
well. Also, the lead(s) should synch-up with block captains whenever possible - but at
least once a year – typically at block parties. Recruit new block captains if necessary.
• Download the Certification template at
• Fill it up and present it to the sheriff for the
Final Step 7: Post a Neighborhood
Safety Watch Sign
Once you are certified and have all the components of the
program in place, you will have a sign(s) placed by our city of
Neighborhood Safety Captains can provide their views on where
they would like to see the sign placed in the neighborhood
Tips and Hints for Success
• Hold regular meetings to help residents get to know each other and to collectively
decide upon program strategies and activities.
• Canvas door-to-door to recruit members.
• Involve everyone -- young and old, single and married, renter and homeowner.
• Gain support from the police or sheriffs' office. This is critical to a Watch group's
credibility. These agencies are the major sources of information on local crime
patterns, home security, other crime prevention education, and crime reporting.
• Get the information out quickly. Share all kinds of news -- quash rumors.
• Gather the facts about crime in your neighborhood. Check police reports, do
victimization surveys, and learn residents' perceptions about crime. Often residents'
opinions are not supported by facts, and accurate information can reduce fear of
• Physical conditions like abandoned cars or overgrown vacant lots contribute to crime.
Sponsor cleanups, encourage residents to beautify the area, and ask them to turn on
outdoor lights at night.
• It's essential to celebrate the success of the effort and recognize volunteers'
contributions through such events as awards, annual dinners, and parties. To help
meet community needs, Neighborhood Watches can sponsor meetings that address
broader issues such as self-protection tactics, isolation of the elderly, crime in the
schools, and rape prevention.
Your neighborhood is just getting
§ Block Captains rollover
§ Block Parties
§ Annual tune-up to the safety watch
NEIGHBORHOOD ZONE MAP
Example – 11 Zones in a Neighborhood
Key Take-Aways for Block Captains
• Maintain an email list / phone list of the 7-10 homes of
– Use for quick communication, who is on vacation, any
– Use phone tree (so don’t have to do all the calling)
• Funnel information to your zone folks
• Pick a backup to take over when you are on vacation
Information to provide to your block captain
• Sheriff Contact
Captain Rich Urena
• Saratoga Chief of Police
Office of the Sheriff, Santa
(408) 868-6600 office (408)
• Saratoga Fire Department
14380 Saratoga Ave
Saratoga, CA 95070
Telephone: (408) 867-9001
• Jim Yoke (for neighborhood preparedness
Emergency Services Coordinator
Santa Clara County Fire Department
14700 Winchester Boulevard
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Before we wrap…
A Neighborhood Safety Watch program does not do it all..it is just
another tool towards empowering our neighborhood to watch out for
Break-ins / Break-in attempts / simple thievery occur on a regular basis
in the bay area. These occurrences have not just happened last week,
they have happened last year, and almost every few years going back a
Having accepted that…what can we do to prevent folks targeting our
neighborhood over the next?
Our objective is to put enough deterrents in place - such that we make
it difficult for us / our neighborhood to be targeted.
We would highly recommend reviewing this link
Or click here
Specific action we can take in our neighborhood
• Important to have a neighborhood safety watch in place
– Enforce it. Be on your guard.
– Not for namesake
• Install security cameras to monitor street intersections that
lead into their neighborhood if possible
• Know your neighbors well, watch out for them and have
them watch out for you)
– Know what cars they own and the days their pool/home gets
• Call your neighbors if you see any strange car parked by
– Better to err on the side of caution here.
Specific action we can take Outside our home
• Know your neighbors
• Think Deadbolts
• Lock your fence doors. Specially secure every single door and
window that is backyard facing. These are specially vulnerable as
the thieves have all the time in the world to try to break them.
• Protect your phone line, ensure that it cannot be easily snipped
• Install a mailbox with a lock to prevent identity thefts
• Don’t leave anything valuable in your car, whether
visible or hidden
- That means no ipods or GPS systems sitting on your dashboard
• Install Motion Sensor lights in front of your house and behind
• Install security cameras front, specially around the entrance and
around your backyard
• "Beware of dog" sign is another deterrent.
• Put up signs outside your home that this home is under surveillance
Inside the Home
• Alarm systems –
– - Turn on the alarm in the night too prior to sleeping. Home have
been broken into in the middle of the night.
– - Ensure that your alarm sound is heard outside the home (place
a unit outside your home)
– Motion Sensors, Windows/Door Sensors, Glass sensors,
Outdoor alarm unit
• Protect your data (photos, videos, SS#, personal records to avoid
identity thefts, you can even lock your credit history).
• Keep your backup drives locked at a place outside of home eg.
work. Do not keep jewellery at home but in the bank locker.
• Password protect every single computer and hard drive you have
- you don't want someone else to get access to your personal files.
• Use protectors for any sliding door to prevent opening,
Specific action we can take when on vacation
• Notify your neighbors
• Stop newspaper delivery. Don't leave piles of
newspapers sitting on your porch/ driveway while you
are on vacation or even if you are at home
• Stop mail
• When you go on vacations, and happen to drive into the
airport long term parking, remove your insurance and
registration from the car, and don't leave any paperwork
that has your address. There have been cases, specially
around T'giving, Xmas, when they break into cars, get
the address to then break into the home.
• Notify Saratoga police you are going to be gone.
– Additional patrolling