SAFETY – A COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY

by Mayor Osby Davis

The level of safety of a city and community is directly related to the involvement and participation of the citizens.  Of course it is important to have an adequately staffed and well trained and fully equipped  Police Department, however without the participation of the citizens there are limits to what can be accomplished by the Police and the level of safety felt by the community.

If you think about it you will recognize that there are certain types of crimes which will occur whether you have a fully staffed police department or not.  In addition there are other types of crimes which can be stymied or effectively controlled by a fully staffed, well trained and fully equipped Police Department.  Hence, in order to have a safe city the citizens must be willing to participate by becoming the eyes and ears of the police department and the eyes and ears of their neighbors.  Active Homeowners Associations and the Fighting Back Partnership have been tremendously effective in being the eyes and ears of the police and the neighborhoods through the formation of Neighborhood Watch groups throughout the city.

There was a time when the Vallejo Police Department was well staffed and Neighborhood Watch programs were organized and monitored by the department’s Beat Health program.  When the funding for Beat Health dried up Fighting Back Partnership stepped up and along with its extensive involvement in improving the health and safety of our city  became active in cleaning up neighborhoods and organizing Neighborhood Watch programs along with its other  functions.  The Neighborhood Watch program is invaluable to the health and safety of our city.  Fighting Backs ability to participate in organizing and monitoring Neighborhood Watch programs in the various neighborhoods is critical if we are to effectively stymie crime and fill in the gap.

With the advanced technology available today Neighborhood Watch programs are much more effective than before.  Modern video and telecommunications technology provides for immediate feedback and instantaneous communication between neighbors and between neighborhoods and the police department.

We can all do our part in making our city safe.  We must be willing to be the eyes and ears of the police department; willing to step forward and provide useable information in order to assist in the apprehension of the parties responsible for crime.  It is inconsistent to demand public safety and then be unwilling to come forward with information necessary to apprehend and convict criminals.  The apprehension and conviction of criminals is an essential component of a safe community.

Recognizing that no community will ever be 100% crime free no matter how well staffed, trained and equipped the police department, let us just do our part in making it difficult for would be perpetrators and let us do everything within our power to rid our community of as much crime as possible. The citizens of this city demand and deserve nothing less than the safest city possible and by the same token the citizens have an undeniable obligation to do their part in making our city safe.  So let us start now.

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