Photo by Madoline Markham.
1012 Artists on the Bluff Sign
Bluff Park will hold a neighborhood watch meeting this Sunday, July 19, at Artists on the Bluff.
In hopes to establish more “blocks” in the neighborhood watch program, the Bluff Park community is holding an informational meeting on July 19.
This is the first neighborhood watch meeting in a few years, said Bluff Park resident Robin Schultz. The community tries to hold a meeting every two or three years in order to encourage participation in neighborhood watch as well as promote safety tips. While the meeting is located in Bluff Park, residents across Hoover are invited to attend.
Hoover Police Officer Brian Hale, crime prevention specialist with the department, will also be at the meeting to discuss organization of a neighborhood watch block.
Neighborhoods are divided into blocks, which are segments of a neighborhood or road where the neighborhood watch captain and members can easily observe suspicious activity.
“A block is somewhere where you can see pretty much anywhere in your block – somewhere where you know your neighbors,” Schultz said.
Within these blocks, neighbors look out for each other and serve as an extra set of eyes for police. If a neighbor goes out of town, for example, they can inform the neighborhood watch as to which cars will be present and know someone is looking out for suspicious activity.
Hale said neighborhood watch boils down to knowing your neighbors. The program can be called anything, and it can take more forms than an occasional, formal meeting.
“We don’t have to have these meetings where we just sit and listen to the police officer talk,” Hale said. “It can be a cookout, or a social gathering. Once you do those social type things, and you know your neighbors, you know if somebody doesn’t belong.”
A benefit to neighborhood watch groups, Hale said, is he will bring the calls for service for their area to the meeting. These calls cover the last year, and Hale said seeing the numbers can help community members separate fact from what they have seen on Facebook.
In addition to neighborhood watch, Hale will also cover the basics of securing or “target hardening” homes, cars and taking inventory of valuables. Many car break-ins in the area are the result of unlocked cars and can be prevented by taking basic precautions, Schultz said. Hale also brings examples of flood lights, locks and lighting timers that can help deter criminals, but he said just having a neighborhood watch is one of the “least-expensive, most effective” crime prevention steps.
“Every block in Hoover should be covered by a neighborhood watch,” Schultz said. “It’s proven to reduce crime.”
The meeting is Sunday, July 19 from 4-6 p.m. at Artists on the Bluff. For more information, visit bluffparkal.org or go to the bluffparkal.org Facebook page.
What: Neighborhood watch meeting
When: July 19, 4-6 p.m.
Where: Artists on the Bluff
571 Park Avenue