Three crime-prevention groups in the hills are working more together to deter residential crime, and they launched this effort in a June 21 workshop at College Preparatory High School.
The Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils of Rockridge, Montclair and North Hills (police beats 13 X, Y, and Z) gathered to brainstorm on the best methods of safeguarding homes against theft in cooperation with the Oakland Police Department, Bay Alarm and Reed Security.
"No matter what the city says, people still feel like victims and crime still happens in their neighborhoods. Residents are ready to take the extra steps to arm themselves," said Jill Broadhurst, chair of the Montclair Safety Improvement Council.
Oakland Police Problem Solving Officer Joe Balaoro, who works in the hills, saw a presentation about how residents can best safeguard their homes in the Dimond district earlier this year and asked that it be shared with the crime-prevention councils in the hills.
"There are a lot of things people can do to deter break-ins. It seems simple, but it really makes a difference in awareness," said Balaoro.
Angie Haller, chair of the Crime Safety Team in the Dimond district (beat 22X) put the workshop together in response to recent burglaries in the area. In many cases, doors and windows weren't properly protected, Haller says.
The methods taught in the workshop have proved to be so successful that they are being repeated in police beats
Stan Weisner of the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association hopes to share what he learned with neighbors.
"A lot of people just don't come to these meetings, so I'm here to bring information back to them," he said.
The event was co-sponsored by the Public Safety Committee of the North Hills Community Association, chaired by Jim Dexter, the Greater Rockridge NCPC, chaired by Frank Castro and the Montclair Safety Improvement Council.
"It's a good junction between the crime-prevention councils, the problem-solving officers and the (security and alarm) companies," explained Haller.
Dexter sees this as an effort worth building on.
"The NCPCs have been operating relatively independent of each other," he said. "I'm a big advocate of working together. This meeting is the first fruition of this effort. I am just thrilled." Other groups support such a move. "Robbers don't know (neighborhood) borders, so it's important to stay connected and share technology," said Broadhurst.
Rockridge's Castro agrees. "My wish is to show people we all have a common goal, which is how to harden the targets to keep residents safe," he said. "It's nice to get everyone in the same geographic area on the same page."