Neighbors watching neighbors helps prevent crime
Reporter: Jessica Chapin
TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - Watch out. That's the message local residents are sending to criminals, especially during the Pima County Sheriff's Department 13th annual G.A.I.N event. "Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods" (GAIN) encourages neighborhood watch groups to raise safety awareness in their communities.
One West Side neighborhood hosted a pie plate social and invited local law enforcement and firefighters to speak about safety. Deputy Gary Hawco patrols their streets in the evenings and spent his Saturday afternoon meeting residents and discussing crime prevention.
"We have all sorts of things, there's a few burglaries, some larcenies, occasionally vandalism," he said, "maybe some reckless driving people speeding through the neighborhood."
He says the important thing for residents to remember is that the Sheriff's Department is always available to help.
"We're there for our community," he said, "We have ownership in the area and we consider this an important job as far as the prevention."
Firefighters on scene answered questions about their jobs and equipment and educated neighbors about free services like smoke alarm give-aways and home inspections.
Safety is key to residents like Diane Hinds, who says a daytime break-in startled the community into action. Now, 65 out of their 80 homes participate in the neighborhood watch.
"Once that happens in your neighborhood it brings it up close and personal," said Hinds, "I think we do get that feeling that we know our neighbors here and that we wait and stop and visit and it's really a nice way to do things here."
Anyone who wants more information about starting or participating in a neighborhood watch group can click here.