Community Watch Asks for Awareness, Not Patrols

By Bob Demchick

GGTA Board member

As many residents know, there has been a good bit of discussion about neighborhood security in light of a number of burglaries that have occurred in recent months.  There was talk of a Town Watch program possibly including unarmed foot patrols around the property.  A meeting was held in July at which several residents discussed possible solutions to the problem and those in attendance agreed to investigate further action.

Recently, at a second meeting, the entire direction of the program was modified in that the patrols associated with Town Watches will be abandoned in favor of the community watch concept encouraged by the San Francisco Police Department.

At that meeting Mason Lee, the representative of SAFE, presented an outline of what must be done to establish the Gateway as a neighborhood watch community. SAFE (Safety Awareness For Everyone) is a community crime prevention organization sponsored  in cooperation with the San Francisco Police Department.

Lee indicated that a meeting with GG management was quite successful in that they had agreed to cooperate by posting various notices in public areas.

SAFE’s representative is preparing a notice to inform residents that as a community watch organization there will be no physical patrols, no schedules or assigned duties.

“We don’t want their time – just their awareness,” Lee stated.

With the goal of obtaining resident alertness to their surroundings and encouraging them to report anything suspicious to the police or security, it is hoped that the program will gain wider participation so that it will qualify for external building signs indicating its status.

The next meeting is planned for the week of September 29, at which time Captain David Lazar of Central Station will outline the way in which the San Francisco Police Department works with Community Watch groups to provide greater security for its residents.

The site of the next meeting and the specific date and time are still to be determined.  Presence at the meeting will not commit attendees to any further action.

The purpose of the session is to advise neighbors of how the concept affords greater safety for everyone.  Write to to be advised of the time and location of the next gathering.

For more information about what a community watch is and how it works, click here.