Southwest Quadrant – Initial Report

The Southwest Quadrant extends from west of 1-80 and south of Tennessee Street and includes a diverse collection of
neighborhoods made up of hardworking people.  Some of the area’s neighborhood watches began to form in early 2010 in response to a shift in the type of residents we were seeing move in, and who changed the whole character of our previously peaceful area.

The Phelan Avenue Watch formed in response to a single problem house. First, there were wild parties at the address with anywhere from 40 to 200 kids rioting and fighting in the street, followed by a continual increase in crime: incidents  of trespassing and property damage, stolen and vandalized cars, and drug dealing on street corners became common.

Soon we had a huge increase in burglaries during daytime hours. Some neighbors were burglarized two times within a few weeks.  Young men roamed the streets in gangs of 5 to 7. There were armed muggings of people on their way to shop at the local grocery store. We no longer felt safe to work in our yards or walk to the store. Police were routinely called but were unable to catch the criminals in the act.

Several neighboring block watches—Phelan Avenue, Bridgeway Community and the Mad Madigans—began to  communicate with each other in response to the increasing crime. They gathered at citywide meetings with other watch groups and shared information and strategies. We used our telephone trees to keep up with the activities of this one particularly problematic house and documented everything that was happening.

Fighting Back was with us every step of the way, and Bob Sampayan was our biggest ally. With Bob and Fighting Back we were able to use the civil abatement process to evict these unwelcome tenants. It took some time but we had them evicted just before the National Night Out on August 3, 2010, and truly had a reason to celebrate.

We continue to have a very active watch, and it has made us a closer neighborhood. We now look out for each other,  socialize, and have changed our neighborhood from just a place to live into a community. We work with Code  Enforcement to keep our neighborhood looking neat and take pride in the results.

Recently some new members of our watch heard a noise at night and looked out to see burglars invading a nearby house. They yelled at the burglars and called the police, interrupting the crime. Neighbors used the telephone tree to contact  each other and the victimized homeowner, who returned home to find a group of neighbors at his house talking to the police, boarding up the broken window, and helping to clean up the mess. Due to the neighbors’ quick action the burglars didn’t get away with much, and the homeowner was very comforted by all the local support.

Our watches in the Southwest Quadrant are excited to have an online Newsletter that helps connect all the neighborhoods. We encourage you to stay active and form a Neighborhood Watch. Together we can remake Vallejo into a safe and prosperous city!

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