Below are my notes from last nights' meeting. I found that the meeting generated a good discussion between the community and the Chief of Police on how the citizens can help the Police Officers keep the community safe.
Speak Out Coronado Recap- “How to energize your block with neighborhood watch”
Held on Wednesday, January 25, approximately 60 people in attendance at the Coronado Library in the Winn Room.
Meeting hosted by Councilwoman Barbara Denny- www.barbaratdenny.com
Coronado’s Police Chief- Lou Scanlon- Presenter
Key Guests included- Senator Jim Mills, Susan Keith, Lea Corbin
I. “Feel Safe, Pals”
Friendly- be friendly to all
Eyes- look at people in your neighborhood
Ears- listen to noise
Locks-lock gates and vehicles
Social media- be vague
Away- always tell a neighbors when you’re away
Faithful Pruning- landscape is a criminal cover
Enlist- enlist in neighborhood
Porch lights- back and front
Alarm- install and use
Limit criminal opportunity
Security cameras- install and use
II. Chief of Police, Lou Scanlon, presented on starting a neighborhood watch:
“The police department can’t do it on our own,” said Scanlon.
In order for the program to work the members of the watch need to be actively engaged. Programs that meet when there is a crime surge and then not again until there is another surge are not effective. While Coronado is the safest city in the region in the violent crime category, and second or third safest in property crime, there is still crime in Coronado.
To start a neighborhood watch:
-Recruit and Organize
-Contact Lea Corbin at the CPD to set up a meeting- 522-7370
-Hold regular meetings and train
-Implement a phone tree
-Meetings should only last about an hour and not be a venting session but a focused meeting about a set topic
-10-15 people is the optimum size for a neighborhood watch program
-Longest running neighborhood watch program in Coronado is in the navy housing area and has been running for about 13 years
-Vagrancy is not illegal- there is not much an officer can do about someone sitting on a bench or walking through Coronado, they are not breaking the law and they can not be asked to leave
-Police Officers cannot arrest someone for committing a misdemeanor crime that was not committed in their presence unless a citizens arrest is made
-When leaving your house vacant for a time it is better to have a neighbor pick up your paper. Criminals can monitor the paper delivery and notice which house is not being delivered to.
-Do not program “home” into the GPS System in your car, if your car is stolen the thief knows you aren’t home at that time.
In regards to the recent string of silver theft on the island:
Most people had no clue when the silver was taken and there were no clues as to how the suspects entered the homes. None of the silverware sets that were stolen had monograms on them, therefore the silver could not be tracked down.
IV. Jewelry Theft
In regards to Coronado homes being burglarized for jewelry:
There were 3-4 valid reported cases, the police department has one halfway decent description of a suspect. If the alarm in your home does go off call the police department because they will look for attempts to enter the home and if prints are found they can match that to the tools found.
V. Coronado Street lights project
Coronado resident Karen Moore is starting a project to get street lights installed in the surrounding neighborhood of the island off Orange Ave. She is listed in the phone book and would like anyone interested to call her.
VI. Question and Answer
What can be done about the common practice of Coronado residents placing unwanted items in the ally for random people to come pick it up?
Placing items such as old desks and lamps in the ally attracts people that may also be scoping out the area to come back and commit a crime later. Simply talking to your neighbors and making the problem known and suggesting they bring the items to Coromart or donate it to a local church for a rummage sale would help the problem.
Does the bridge have to close when there is a jumper?
When Lou Scanlon started as the Chief of Police for Coronado the highway patrol would close all but one lane. During that time the City of San Diego’s hostage negotiation team was on the bridge calming a jumper down and almost got them completely calmed and a car drove by and yelled, “Just jump already!” Cars were honking, people yelling, it makes it impossible for them to do their job. Plus, if a person is about to jump off the bridge they are not thinking rationally and could potentially run in front of an oncoming car and injure more than just themselves. If that happened it could turn into a negligent homicide case.
Yes, the bridge does need to be shut down when there is a jumper. When this occurs the Coronado dispatchers are contacting the Coronado Police, Caltrans, which has to notify everyone all the way up to Sacramento due to the risk of terrorism, San Diego Harbor Police, the City of San Diego Police Department, North Island, and the highway patrol. Therefore, when there are approximately 30-40 irritated drivers calling asking what is going on with the bridge it slows the process.
Should the police department be called then if there is nothing that can be done about the homeless hanging out in Coronado?
Yes, the police can come out and get the person’s information and talk to them. This may detour them from committing a crime. Also, going through your recycling container once it is placed on the street for the CRV items is a theft from EDCO.
Chief of Police Lou Scanlon presenting with Barbara Denny on the far left.
Councilwoman Barbara Denny found this in her yard below her gate. She believes it was used in an attempt to open the latch on her gate. Since her gates have locks they were unsuccessful.
Comment (keep it clean & on topic)