On Thursday, July 17, Councilwoman Judy Wong and Deputy Rich Soto put together a meeting designed to attract more people to join a neighborhood watch program.
Temple City may be the safest city in the San Gabriel Valley; however, there are still burglaries and robberies within the community. The Sheriff’s department has continuously tried their best to keep Temple City safe, but there are only two patrol cars that work 24/7.
As a result, Deputy Soto tried to persuade citizens into becoming an independent group of neighborhood watchers. The neighborhood watch program can help prevent some burglaries because the group will force the burglars into a different block leaving your block safe.
Most of the crimes, however, are made by property criminals. Deputy Soto, who has been a Los Angeles County Sheriff for 18 years, revealed that such crimes can be prevented by easy steps.
Locking your doors and windows can keep burglars out because breaking an entering will be more difficult. Similarly, building a fence or growing shrubbery will make more obstacles, therefore decreasing one’s chances of becoming a victim of house robberies.
A common misconception about joining a neighborhood watch program is the amount of difficulty and time spent for such an organization. As a matter of fact it is much easier than many may think.
Some groups have meetings every week or month, while some have no meetings at all. As a matter of fact, the hardest part is probably walking over to your phone to call the Temple City station if you see any suspicious activity.
“Go home and talk to your individual neighborhood. I encourage you to join and if not please keep a lookout,” said Deputy Soto.
If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Deputy Soto at (323) 415-7881, (626) 292-3351 [direct access], or rjsoto.lasd.org.
Here were some common questions discussed during the meeting…
Q: If we send a panic alarm, doesn’t the signal go to our alarm monitoring system?
A: Yes, as a matter of fact, the panic and routine call will both go to your system. Then the system will warn us. This is why you should have your alarm company closer to your house and the Temple Station.
Q: Around my business, there is always graffiti on the walls. I clean it up, but then the next month more appears. What can I do?
A: The only way to stop it is to call the local police.
Q: If a man in a police suit came to our house, do we have to let him/her in?
A: No, we do not have the right to search your house without proof. If we believe that your house has and abuse in it, we’ll come and ask if we can search your house. If you say no, it’s okay. We’ll just become suspicious and file a search warrant. But if the policeman has a search warrant, then you better let him/her in.
This article was written by Vincent Wei. It was published in the Temple City Voice on July 30, 2008.