Loading...
2011-021-1414 - Adopting an Enhanced Neighborhood Watch Program Structure City of Miami Gardens Agenda Cover Memo Council Meeting Date: February 9, 2011 Item Type: (Enter X in box) Resolution Ordinance Other X Fiscal Impact: (Enter X in box) Yes No Ordinance Reading: (Enter X in box) 1st Reading 2nd Reading X Public Hearing: (Enter X in box) Yes No Yes No X Funding Source: N/A Advertising Requirement: (Enter X in box) Yes No X Contract/P.O. Required: (Enter X in box) Yes No RFP/RFQ/Bid #: X N/A Strategic Plan Related (Enter X in box) Yes No Strategic Plan Priority Area: Enhance Organizational Bus. & Economic Dev Public Safety Quality of Education Qual. of Life & City Image Communication Strategic Plan Obj./Strategy: (list the specific objective/strategy this item will address) Enhance Community interaction with the Department to create safe environment. X Sponsor Name Councilwoman Felicia Robinson Department: Mayor and Council and Police Department Short Title: A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA ADOPTING AN ENHANCED NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM STRUCTURE; PROVIDING FOR THE ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Staff Summary: Since the inception of the Miami Gardens Police Department 40 new Neighborhood Watch groups have been formed, which brings the total number of groups citywide to 43. While the expansion of groups in the City is outstanding and the Police Department staff has been doing a commendable job of fostering participation, it has become clear that these new groups are fragmented and fledgling due to lack of organizational structure and great need for basic capacity building. Furthermore, the City has not yet had the opportunity to organize a venue through which the new groups can collaborate or learn from the more established and long‐standing crime watch organizations in the city. ITEM K-2) CONSENT AGENDA RESOLUTION Enhance Neighborhood Watch Program 1515 NW 167 Street, Building 5 Suite 200 Miami Gardens, Florida 33169 In light of the above‐mentioned challenges, and in an effort to provide greater structure and support for Neighborhood Watch Groups citywide, Councilwoman Felicia Robinson is proposing the implementation of an enhanced Neighborhood Watch Program. This enhanced program will focus on providing administrative and organizational assistance to Neighborhood Watch Groups specifically in the following areas: • The Police Department will provide assistance to various groups through organized training sessions to be conducted quarterly • Creation of a semi‐annual newsletter sent electronically to all members • Quarterly meetings with key stakeholders with the Chief of Police • Creating and providing standardized documents to be used by ALL groups • Assist in the creation of bylaws and organizational structure • Provide guidance and suggestions for fundraising and outreach ideas and events to encourage participation By providing a structured and consistent application of the Neighborhood Watch Program the Police Department hopes to encourage more participation and a better trained cadre of civilians who are assisting in our mission of “Building a Safer Community”. Proposed Action: That the City Council approve the attached resolution adopting the Enhanced Neighborhood Watch Program structure Attachment: Attachment A: CMG Neighborhood Watch Program Structure Miami Gardens Police Department Neighborhood Watch Program Page 1 of 5 OVERVIEW: The Neighborhood Watch program has evolved into a comprehensive crime prevention program. The foundation for a successful Neighborhood Watch Program involves active participation from citizens, working in conjunction with local law enforcement. The program fosters partnerships between the community and local law enforcement with the common goal to reduce crime and maintain the quality of life of its citizens. The Neighborhood Watch program provides a vehicle for which residents can use to take an active roll in maintaining a safe community. Law enforcement officials interact with Neighborhood Coordinators and Block Captains, providing statistical information regarding their neighborhood and resources to help address related problems. Members of the program learn crime prevention strategies, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), crime reporting techniques, identification of personal property through Operation ID, and preventative measures one could take to avoid becoming a “Victim”. Additionally, local law enforcement gains valuable information regarding neighborhood problems and, as a result, can tailor their enforcement strategies to address such problems. The Miami Gardens Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Program is coordinated through the Community Enrichment Team (CET). The CET is charged with the responsibility of assisting those residents interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch Program in their community and facilitating meetings and providing suggestions for meeting topics and agendas. The concerned CET officer will also be responsible for providing statistical data to the members of the Program. The program is comprised of four levels of responsibility with the first two levels consisting of program administration and coordination. The first level encompasses the overall command of the program, which is administered by a Miami Gardens Police Administrator. The Support Services Division Commander maintains overall command of special programs, including the Neighborhood Watch Program and Citizen Observer Patrol Program. Bylaws for each Neighborhood Watch will be made available to each group for customizing. These bylaws work in concert with this policy and govern the actions of Neighborhood Watch Members. The CET Sergeants are responsible for the second level of coordination and maintain direct liaisons with the Neighborhood Coordinators. The CET Sergeant is kept apprised of Neighborhood Watch functions, events and specific issues /problems that may arise during the course of the program. The CET Sergeant will arrange for Department representation at meetings and for fulfilling special requests and addressing concerns. The last two levels of the program are by far the most important to the overall success of the program. The Neighborhood Coordinator corresponds directly with the CET Sergeant and is, in turn, responsible for dissemination and coordination with the Block Captains. Neighborhood Coordinators recruit Block Captains within their community and delegate specific assignments to these block captains. Neighborhood Coordinators ultimately ensure the success of their Neighborhood Watch Program by maintaining the program and utilizing the CET for support. The Block Captains are responsible for coordination of six to ten of their neighboring houses on a given block and for providing crime prevention information to them once obtained from the Neighborhood Coordinator. Through the combined efforts of the Miami Gardens Police Department and the citizens of Miami Gardens, the Neighborhood Watch Program can be used as an effective tool to reduce crime and preserve the quality of life in our city. Miami Gardens Police Department Neighborhood Watch Program Page 2 of 5 ORGANZATIONAL STRUCTURE /RESPONSIBILITIES: The Miami Gardens Police Department’s CET is responsible for the overall coordination of the program. The CET will provide the necessary resources to those citizens interested in starting a neighborhood watch program in their community. A sergeant assigned to CET maintains the overall responsibility of overseeing the program and functions as the Law Enforcement Liaison. The Law Enforcement Liaison is responsible for the following: Recruit Neighborhood Coordinators with the use of media, City bulletins, announcements and the Internet. Assist Neighborhood Coordinators with setting up the Neighborhood Watch meetings and attend meetings if requested and arrange for attendance by the concerned CET Law Beat Officer. Provide necessary unit support to address specific crime problems (i.e., Code Enforcement, Special Units, etc.) Obtain information from Neighborhood Coordinators regarding specific crimes //problems they are experiencing in the neighborhood. Provide fundamental information on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Ensure that statistical information is provided to the Neighborhood Coordinators and make recommendations with the concerned CET Officer to address crime patterns. Schedule quarterly training for all Neighborhood Watch Coordinators. Specialized units from the Miami Gardens Police Department and other City Departments (i.e., Traffic Unit, Code Enforcement Department, Crime Scene Unit, etc.) can assist in training sessions. Maintain updated telephone, email and address listings of all Neighborhood Coordinators. Assist in ensuring all committees for the neighborhood watch program are filled. Draft a bi-annual Neighborhood Watch newsletter which will be distributed electronically. Hold quarterly meetings with a selected Neighborhood Coordinator from each of the Department’s three patrol areas with the Chief of Police or his designee to discuss community concerns. Once an an interested volunteer is located, that person assumes the title of Neighborhood Coordinator for their individual neighborhood. The Neighborhood Coordinator is responsible for implementing the Neighborhood Watch Program in their Neighborhood with the assistance from the CET Sergeant. Neighborhood Coordinators are responsible for the following: Coordinating activity and corresponding with the CET Sergeant. Ensuring sufficient block captains are recruited to cover the entire neighborhood. Miami Gardens Police Department Neighborhood Watch Program Page 3 of 5 Maintain Block Captain listings and recruit /replace when necessary. Coordinate with Block Captains to visit new move-ins and introduce new families to the Neighborhood Watch Program. Recruit and assign the following positions as needed for the neighborhood (have block captains assist with this process): • New members. • Block parents. • Fundraising. • Secretarial duties. • Developing and maintaining block maps. • Materials /publications distribution. Ensure Block Captains obtain and maintain telephone listings (phone tree) of the neighborhood with a copy of such listings given to the CET Sergeant. Meet with block captains at least quarterly for any problem matters, updates, or planning of any special neighborhood events (BBQ’s, National Night Out, additional neighborhood meetings, etc.). Ensure Neighborhood Watch signs are purchased, posted by City Public Works, and maintained by the Neighborhood members (ensure the signs are free of graffiti, vandalism, weather damage, etc.). Remind block captains to report crimes or suspicious activity immediately to the Police Department. Ensure both residents and block captains notify the Neighborhood Coordinator (for information only) of any call-out police services in the neighborhood. This would keep the CET Sergeant apprised of situations occurring within the neighborhood. Block Captains act as spokespersons for the group of homes assigned to them. Block Captains are responsible for the following: Block Captains are assigned a certain number of homes in their Neighborhood (usually six to ten homes). Coordinating activity and corresponding with their Neighborhood Coordinator. Maintain a telephone listing (tree) of all the families assigned to them. Assist the Neighborhood Coordinator in recruiting and assignment of the following positions as needed for neighborhood: • New members • Fundraising • Secretarial duties • Developing and maintaining block maps • Materials /publications distribution Miami Gardens Police Department Neighborhood Watch Program Page 4 of 5 Remind members to call law enforcement with concerns – not the Block Captain or Neighborhood Coordinators. The Block Captain’s role is to assist, not to report problems to the police department. If a resident calls the police, insure that the resident notifies the block captain or Neighborhood coordinator with the case number or incident number and a brief summary of the call. Identify senior citizens and /or neighbors with health problems who need special assistance or attention. Have available emergency telephone listings for families assigned to their areas. Advise families to immediately call 911 for crimes in progress or life threatening situations. PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION: The implementation of the Neighborhood Watch Program is a two-phase process. The first phase entails the initial contact by those residents interested in organizing a Neighborhood Watch Program in their community. This contact would include a meeting with the CET Sergeant and the prospective Neighborhood Coordinator. During this meeting, the Neighborhood Coordinator would be provided with a packet that would include books, pamphlets, software, and forms necessary to begin the program. The Neighborhood Coordinator would estimate a date and time when he/she would like to hold their first Neighborhood Watch meeting. In the interim, the CET Sergeant or their designee would prepare statistical information on the particular area, and present this information during the Neighborhood Watch meeting. The second phase of the program entails the actual Neighborhood Watch meeting. The meeting would occur in the identified neighborhood or, as an alternative, could take place in the community conference room of the Miami Gardens Police Department. The meetings would last approximately 45 minutes to one hour and would consist of key crime prevention topics, crime prevention tools /displays, and an open forum for crime prevention related discussions. The meeting provides an opportunity for neighbors to interact with each other which is essential for a successful Neighborhood Watch program. The possibility exists where a resident would only want to be a Block Captain and not take on the responsibility of becoming a Neighborhood Coordinator. In this event, the resident could start a smaller scale version of the program encompassing their immediate area. The same two-phase process would take place and the resident would be provided with the same information and packets. The Miami Gardens Police Department would announce the Neighborhood Watch Program by preparing a press release to include contact information via the Internet. It is anticipated that the implementation of the program will spark a great deal of interest and require the phase one meeting to be held at the Miami Gardens Police Department. DEPARTMENTAL FORMS AND PAMPHLETS: Miami Gardens Police Department Neighborhood Watch Program Page 5 of 5 The Miami Gardens Police Department has several forms and informational pamphlets to serve the citizens of Miami Gardens. These forms are distributed to Neighborhood Coordinators through hard copies, diskette, or via the Internet. Annex A-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Meeting Registration Form Annex B-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Meeting announcement Flyer Annex C-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Meeting Agenda Annex D-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Roster and Residential Map Annex E-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Phone Tree Annex F-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Home Security Inspection Form Annex G-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Property Inventory Annex H-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Suspicious Activity /Worksheet Annex I-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Contact Log Annex J-M.G.P.D. CPTED Audit Annex K-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Sign In Sheet Annex L-M.G.P.D. Neighborhood Watch Meeting Notes Annex M-Neighborhood Watch Standard Letterhead