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Neighborhood Watches Do Work... If You Communicate

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After a rash of shootings in the San Fernando Valley that left eight injured and two dead within four hours on Tuesday night, the Daily News mentions that Councilman Richard Alarcon and Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, who represent parts of the East Valley, "are doubling efforts to build Neighborhood Watch programs."

In Greuel's district, many watch programs have been forming over the last year. Last Friday night, a group of residents in East Sherman Oaks gathered at one neighbor's yard to meet with the LAPD Senior Lead Officer for the area to discuss the recent crime activity and to reactive the watch. When the officer asked how many people had their car broken into during the time they lived there, most of the 40 or so attendees raised their hands.

The questions and comments from the residents were amazing. Amazing as in numerous statements from cul-de-sac homes who say drug deals or otherwise sketchy activities are taking place outside their window. The theme of the night easily became that people need to inform the police of what was happening in their neighborhood -- to not be hesitant to pick up the phone and either call non-emergency or 911, depending on the situation. Communication is key, otherwise, you get more of what happened earlier this year when a man was stabbed, left on the street crying for help as neighbors ignored him, thinking he was just another homeless crazy.

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Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist