The Santa Monica Police Department sent a community e-mail Thursday detailing ways to preempt summertime crimes.
SMPD advises involvement in local neighborhood watch groups and warns homeowners to be cautious during vacation season.
Neighborhood watch teams ¬ó structured around city blocks, apartment buildings, townhouse or condominium complexes and businesses ¬ó are cited by the SMPD as strategic outlets for residents to report suspicious activity and to stop a crime before it happens.
SMPD offers crime prevention coordinators to assist neighborhoods with instructions on the best ways to organize watch programs. The e-mail also gave a step-by-step process for establishing neighborhood watch teams.
First, the SMPD advises recruiting neighbors to form planning meetings, then discussing neighborhood needs, informing the neighborhood you are starting a program, introducing yourself and other members by going door to door, selecting a convenient place for your meetings and, finally, setting times and dates.
Present at every team¬ís first meeting will be an SMPD crime prevention coordinator, who will train locals on home security, how to observe and report suspicious activity, how to properly use 911 and how to establish an effective neighborhood watch phone tree.
For more information, call (310) 458-8474.