The Directors of the Rosamond Town Council by unanimous vote at its June 17, 2004 meeting adopted a resolution presented by Tom Wardlaw. The resolution states, the Rosamond Town Council “…will actively support the formation of additional Neighborhood Watch groups by Rosamond residents… and will encourage other community organizations and businesses to help inform Rosamond residents of the Neighborhood Watch program and its value to our community.”
Neighbor – A fellow human being
Neighborhood – People living in a particular area
Watch – To look or observe attentively or carefully
Why Neighborhood Watch?
So, why would Neighbors want to watch their neighborhood? Because, fellow human beings who live in the same area have many important things in common that are worth watching. For example, you are away at work or even on vacation and you would feel better knowing that some friendly neighbors will keep an eye on your house and take appropriate action if any unusual events are noticed on your property, such as:
- prowlers or suspicious people on the property,
- broken water pipes
- garage or other doors found open
- smoke or fire
Neighbors Can be Very Important Resources
Even if you are at home – what if you have a family medical, or other, emergency? Neighbors can be important resources in providing or helping obtain medical assistance. They can help you handle matters when you are preoccupied with such an emergency and can’t handle everything. They can call emergency services such as Police or Fire departments. Finally, its always reassuring to know that your neighbors can add an important dimension of personal safety, by noticing and reporting any type of suspicious or overtly criminal behavior in your immediate area.
Kern County Stands Ready to Help Start Neighborhood Watches
There is a well-established system for having neighbors provide each other with such beneficial activities. You probably already knew or guessed that we’re talking “Neighborhood Watch — an activity that Kern County is already staffed and resourced to foster and support.
But Does Quiet Little Rosamond Really Need Watches?
I know what you’re thinking – Neighborhood Watch is unnecessary in our quiet little town of Rosamond , where crime is generally very low. Well, you’re right about low crime in general, but not every problem that residents have is a “federal case.” Remember what I mentioned about watching each other’s property when a resident is away at work or on out-of-town business or pleasure. Also, don’t forget about those emergency situations where a friendly neighbor can offer vital assistance.
A Little Bit of Prevention Goes a Long Way Toward a More Secure Community
And, what about the added security that comes from proactively creating a Neighborhood Watch in your own local area? You hopefully won’t have to deal with felonious activities, but you may discourage vandalism, petty theft and other less serious problems by making a statement to visitors to your neighborhood that you are all a little bit more aware of what’s going on. The Neighborhood Watch sign on your street and the stickers on your windows will remind potential troublemakers that it would be risky to loiter around this neighborhood.
Who Knows, Some Rewarding Friendships Could Result
Finally, technology as well as the pressures of modern life both conspire to confine us to our offices and homes, thus isolating us from our neighbors. How many of us know our neighbors on a first name basis? Its normal to not want to get too involved with every person on our block. But, there are also those times when our own family has some type of emergency and we don’t even have phone numbers of neighbors that we could call for help. And, even without emergencies, there is something to be said for at least being friendly and cordial to those who share the same street or block with us. Who knows, some rewarding friendships, as well as a heightened sense of family security could result from the very limited time needed to have a Neighborhood Watch.
You Don’t Have the Time? Not a Problem
Which brings me to the biggest question: “Neighborhood Watch sounds like a positive and beneficial thing to have, but I just don’t have the time.” Well, the good news is that surprisingly little time is needed at all. Would you believe you could have the benefits of Neighborhood Watch for as little as 90 minutes per year?
One 90-Minute Talk and Your Up and Running
To begin, all you and your neighbors have to do is attend one 90-minute orientation meeting with a representative of the Kern County Sheriffs Crime Prevention Unit. This meeting equips you and your neighbors with everything you need to know about mutually watching out for each other. In a few weeks an official Neighborhood Watch sign will go up on your street to let others know that your neighborhood will be alert to inappropriate activities. You may purchase inexpensive Neighborhood Watch window stickers to further notify others that a Watch is in force.
Block Wardens Simply Provides Continuity and Coordination for the Neighborhood Watch
There also needs to be a volunteer from your neighborhood group to serve as a Block Warden. No, this is not like the WWII Civil Defense Block Wardens who walked the neighborhood looking for any sign of light escaping from the blackout curtains. The Block Warden simply serves as a central point of coordination for the group. Emergencies requiring police, fire or other assistance are not directed to the Block Warden, but directly to the appropriate community service.
Our Neighborhood Watch has been a Big Plus All Around
I know how easy the Block Warden job is because I volunteered for this role three years ago, after being inspired by a community informational meeting on Neighborhood Watch that was arranged by Honorary Mayor Dee Ewing. Since we started our Neighborhood Watch here in Rosamond, we have had no crime or emergencies in our watch area. Also, most all of us have benefited from knowing our neighbors a little better and this has just added to our sense of belonging to our Rosamond community. Our block has even managed to hold three annual barbecues, just for the fun of it.
So, anyone interested in forming a new Rosamond Neighborhood Watch, please contact Tom Wardlaw, the author of this page and one whom has experience in forming a neighborhood watch, Jackie Parli of the Kern County Crime Prevention Unit (661) 391-7559, or check out our law enforcement’ page.
Also, for those Watches that may have gone inactive, why not renew your commitment to ensuring an even safer Rosamond? and let us know if you do?