Neighbors keep a watchful eye |

Neighbors keep a watchful eye

Truckee Police are looking for residents to head up neighborhood watch groups around town.

While crime watch groups are common in towns and cities throughout the country, Truckee currently has no active group. The police department believes that Truckee, with its dispersed communities and large number of second homeowners, is ideally suited to benefit from a neighborhood watch program.

“We want people to act as the eyes and ears for the police department,” said Sheri Whinery, community services officer. “You know your neighborhood better than we do.”

She said the police want to train block captains in what to watch for and how to report suspicious activity.

“They would look for suspicious vehicles hanging around for no apparent reason, or a vehicle in the driveway of a home that is up for sale,” Whinery said. “And we would train them to be specific in what they are reporting ” what the person is doing to make them suspicious.”

Whinery said police would hold a meeting at the block captain’s house to train volunteers, and then it would be up to the block captain to hold regular meetings.

“The time commitment is up to them, but it’s a social thing too,” she said.

Neighborhoods with a large portion of second-home owners, like Tahoe Donner, can benefit even more from neighborhood watches, Whinery said.

“It’s even a better idea with second-home owners; people who live there can keep an eye on the homes of people who don’t live there,” she said.

Geoff Stephens, general manager for the Glenshire Devonshire Residents Association, said the idea of starting a community watch group has come up in Glenshire as well.

“We would be happy to have the police department come out,” Stephens said. “I don’t think we are too far away from having something structured in place.”

Because Glenshire has a higher number of full-time residents than other parts of town, Stephens said he thinks the subdivision has a de-facto neighborhood watch already in place.

“There are so many full time residents that there are few streets that don’t already have a lot of interaction,” Stephens said.

He said the residents association would help coordinate crime watch programs and host meetings with the police.

“We would be happy to play that role; we could set up a meeting in each neighborhood and advertise it,” Stephens said.

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