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Enhancing Homeland Security Locally

Attorney General John Ashcroft has called for a rebirth of Neighborhood Watch programs across the country as a way of augmenting the fight against terrorism. In keeping with the request of the Attorney General, the San Luis Obispo Police Department provides hard copy Neighborhood Watch posters in our lobby that contain all the information needed to begin and maintain your own Neighborhood Watch program. Now the two-sided poster is available on-line so you can download the information and get started right away.

How do I start?

Download the mini poster (at the bottom of this page) and review the material on the back. The success of Neighborhood Watch is simple: get to know your neighbors! Start with your house as the center and then begin by calling or visiting your neighbors around you.

  • Tell your neighbors you want to start a Neighborhood Watch program and set a date and time to meet at your house. Begin simply by choosing those neighbors who can be identified and fill in their information in the blanks on the poster's reverse side.
  • Invite your neighbors in and complete the posters together. This allows you to meet new people, share concerns, and follow the easy guidelines on the back of the poster for calling police.
  • Display your poster in a window visible from the street. This tells everyone that you care about your community and that you will alert authorities about suspicious behavior.
  • One person may be designated as a Block Captain. This person helps by supplying posters to new people who move into the neighborhood and makes sure poster information is kept current.

OK, I got my posters done, now what?

You run this program! The San Luis Obispo Police Department provides crime prevention tips in the Crime Prevention section of our website under Prints & Posters. Go to the Prints & Posters section and download the one page handouts on whatever item meets your neighborhoods need then distribute them to your group. Everything from burglary to blight prevention is available to you on this website, along with our helpful links to law enforcement sites and the National Crime Prevention Council’s Citizens’ Preparedness Guide.

What if I have questions?

Simply call the Office of Neighborhood Services in the Operations Division of the Police Department at 805.781.7317 and ask! We will be happy to provide support. Now the rest is up to you.

Crime Prevention

Protect Yourself

  • Stay alert; be aware of your surroundings.
  • Show you are calm, confident and know where you are going.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.
  • \Carry your purse firmly and close to your body.
  • Keep your wallet in an inside coat or side trouser pocket.
  • Have your car or house key in your hand as you approach the door.
  • Park in well-lighted areas that will be well-lighted when you return. Be sure to lock your car doors.
  • If you jog, do not jog alone in isolated areas.
  • Do not hitchhike. Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers.
  • Women living alone should list only their last name and first initial in the phone book and on mail boxes. Ask the phone company to not list your address in the book.
  • If you are concerned about crime and must go out, find a friend to walk, jog or shop with.
Protect Your Home and Neighborhood
  • Install good deadbolt locks and use them.
  • Use timers to turn lights on and off in a normal schedule when away from home
  • Adequately secure all windows with secondary locking devices.
  • Lock garage doors and windows.
  • Leave exterior lights on all night.
  • Do not advertise that you are away from home.
  • Be neighborly, but be suspicious of strangers in the area.
  • Record serial numbers and maintain a record of your property in a safe place, other than your home.
  • Mark your property with your California Driver License.
  • Organize into a Neighborhood Watch Program. Call 805.781.7317 for information.
  • Call the police to report all crimes and suspicious activity.

If you are attacked or robbed:

  • Remain calm.
  • Try not to panic or show any signs of anger or confusion.
  • If the attacker is after your property, don't resist.
  • Don't escalate this crime into a violent encounter.
  • Make a conscious effort to get an accurate description of your
  • attacker: age, race, complexion, body build, height, weight, type and color of clothing.
  • Call the police immediately, identifying yourself and giving your location.

If your home is broken into:

  • If a door or window has been forced or broken while you are absent.
  • Do not enter or call out! Someone may still be inside.
  • Use a cellular phone or a neighbor's phone immediately to call the police, and wait there until they arrive.