Neighborhood Watch programs help improve safety

By Denis Valdez

Published 07/22 2016 09:07PM

Updated 07/26 2016 01:24PM

A program that's been around for decades is still one of the most effective ways to fight crime across the country. 8 News NOW looks at Neighborhood Watch programs and new high-tech ways to protect homes.

Six years after helping launch a Neighborhood Watch at an eastside condominium complex, State Sen. Mark Manendo (Clark-D) regularly reminds residents of the simple things they can do to keep each other safe.

“Having a conversation about who should be at that house; who shouldn’t; who that car belongs to; that one doesn't,” he said.

Glenn Raitt left North Las Vegas after coming face to face with an intruder.

“It sucks being a victim, and I refuse to be a victim again,” he said.

He says he knows that Neighborhood Watch and its network of alert eyes and ears can make a difference.

“You just took that five seconds and made a phone call. You just poked your head out the door and said, ‘Do you belong here?’ Sometimes, that's enough to stop something from happening,” he said.

For a while, his community had its share of troubled tenants. The good ones started the watch, put up signs and hired security to turn things around.

“Hopefully, it will deter some of these people from even trying anything, because they see we are proactively watching,” said resident Cheryl Orth.

Resident Robin Reddle takes it a step further by using Next Door. It's a private social network that connects neighbors. You can share everything from locating lost pets, finding a plumber or warning about a crime.

“You get quick notification on your phone the minute that somebody posts something, especially if it’s urgent,” Reddle said. “You will immediately get notification.”

Facebook is another way to share information, as is Alert ID, which sends out warnings on issues from a break-in to severe weather.

“I know it's a little bit of time and effort, but to me, nothing trumps your personal and public safety of your friends, and family, and yourself,” Manendo said.

Working together, either online or in person, is a deterrent.

“We're watching. We’re going to see you, and, eventually, you're going to get caught,” Orth said.

Friday on 8 News NOW at 11 p.m., see how you can start a Neighborhood Watch in your community.

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