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April 8, 2011 > New Neighborhood Crime Watch sign

New Neighborhood Crime Watch sign

By Meenu Gupta
Photo Courtesy of Fremont PD

Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? Well, that just might be the case. Video surveillance is an effective tool in deterring crime and to publicize private video surveillance, Fremont Police are adding a new Neighborhood Crime Watch sign.

Believed to be a true partnership between police and the community, video surveillance allows private businesses and residents to take a proactive stance in fighting crime. In return, law enforcement benefits from having access to video displaying real time information, a way to identify suspects and solve cases. A typical video surveillance system combines video, wireless access and physical presence to help deter criminal activity in the community. "The new sign option to our Neighborhood Crime Watch Program is an effort to further deter crime," said Geneva Bosques, Community Engagement Manager, Fremont PD.

"Over the last couple of years, we have been experiencing a growing trend of residents installing personal video surveillance cameras on the outside of their homes," she said. The decline in price and easy to install plug 'n play wireless systems make video surveillance attractive to homeowners. "In November several residents approached us about video surveillance and asked if we could look at additional sign options as part of the Neighborhood Crime Watch (NCW) program in the effort to publicize the use of private surveillance in residential neighborhoods," said Bosques. As recent as last month, residents in the south end of Fremont were able to provide police with a video that led to the arrest of several burglary suspects. "While we cannot completely prevent crime, video surveillance certainly contributes to making the City a safer place to live and work," said Bosques.

Members of the Community Engagement Unit met with a group of Block Captains earlier this year and together, came up with a new sign to meet this need. "We are now excited to offer the new "Neighborhood Under Private Surveillance" sign. The sign is now available to all current NCW groups who have at least one resident on their block utilizing video surveillance," said Bosques. That resident will be required to provide us with their name, address, email, and the specific location of their camera. This information will go into our NCW database to be used only by law enforcement for the purpose of solving crimes. "We would also welcome, encourage and accept the information from anyone else who is utilizing video surveillance as we see it a significant benefit in our NCW program," said Bosques.

If you aren't currently a member of a NCW program, but have private surveillance system and are interested in this sign, please contact one of our Community Engagement Specialists. "We have received requests for about 40 signs since sending out the Nixle message last week," she said.

The cost for the sign will be $8 each. Community Engagement Specialists Karen Blount and Martha Matthiesen will be taking all requests and the required contact information. For North Fremont, north of Stevenson Boulevard please contact Martha Matthiesen (510) 790-6979 or mmatthiesen@fremont.gov. For South Fremont, south of Stevenson Boulevard please contact Karen Blount (510) 790-6689 or Kblount@fremont.gov. Once ordered, it's estimated that it will take approximately four weeks to make and install the sign.

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