Uniting neighborhoods to “look out for each other” – by residents being alert to suspicious activity and reporting it to law enforcement so proper action can be taken to keep the neighborhood safe and secure – is the goal of the Roswell Neighborhood Watch program.
“Officers can’t be around every corner,” says Sgt. Grace Fresquez of the Roswell Police Department, which operates the local program. “However, with assistance from the community, Neighborhood Watch can tremendously multiply the effectiveness of any law enforcement department’s effort to prevent crime.”
Amid staffing changes at RPD and the impact of the pandemic, Roswell Neighborhood Watch went somewhat dormant for a while. RPD has now put a new emphasis on the benefits of Neighborhood Watch and Fresquez has been appointed as coordinator of the program in Roswell, one of many communities throughout the country that participate in Neighborhood Watch.
Working under the motto of “We look out for each other,” Neighborhood Watch groups are formed by neighbors with a desire to work together to make their neighborhood a safe place to live by always watching out for one another and immediately reporting to police any suspicious activities. Each group is headed up by a neighborhood captain who can keep in regular contact with RPD Sgt. Fresquez and pass on any important information to the group’s members. While COVID has limited in-person meetings, Fresquez keeps in touch with local groups by email and phone, and meetings can be held using online technology. Being part of Neighborhood Watch is free.
“The only thing required is desire and participation in order to assist in making a safer neighborhood,” says Fresquez.
Fresquez wants the program to be “a bridge of communication for the community and their concerns.” A neighborhood organized under the Neighborhood Watch program can easily tap into the program’s resources, not only for advice and assistance from law enforcement, but also from other entities – the Fire Department and Code Enforcement could be a couple examples – that can help address various neighborhood concerns and questions.
Neighborhood Watch offers street signs, home signs and stickers designed to let people know the neighborhood has come together with a dedication to “look out for each other.” These signs and other items can help deter unwanted and improper activities in the neighborhood.
As of March 2021, the Roswell Police Department had four Neighborhood Watch groups currently signed up and three other neighborhoods were working on reaching out to their residents in hopes of getting enough interest to form their own groups. Of course, Neighborhood Watch is open to every neighborhood in town.
“‘We look out for each other’ is not only our motto,” Fresquez notes, “it is our call to action. Remember, you the community are any law enforcement agency’s eyes and ears. Together we can make a dent in crime for our community.”
Anyone who is interested in forming a Neighborhood Watch group or just has questions about the program is encouraged to call Fresquez at (575) 624-6770, ext. 4162.