If you have never assisted with Neighborhood Watch before, here is a description of the activities performed by the driving Patrol / Base team. No experience is required to volunteer - training is given by the NW Coordinator.
BASE STATION PROCEDURES: 1.Review patrol procedures/ Alerts (Info in Watch Bab) with Patrol team members.
2.Record relevant information on Patrol Log.
3.Record Patrol team names and the vehicle make and Tag # on Patrol log form.
4. Maintain the log for recording all pertinent reported activities. Included in the incident description should be the time, what transpired, the number of people involved, vehicle license number, if applicable, whether the police were called/involved, and any other pertinent information.
5.Notify Fairfax County Police of any reportable incidents requiring their involvement. WHEN IN DOUBT, CALL THE POLICE. They appreciate our support and will respond. Call 911 for emergencies and 703-691-2131 for all other calls (non-emergency central #)
6.When reporting an incident:
·Inform the police who you are (i.e., Winston Knolls Neighborhood Watch) and that you are calling to report an incident from your patrol (give license number of patrol if asked). Give them the specifics of the incident to the best of your ability. ·Follow any appropriate instructions from the police to patrol (if any). ·Report any activity found at the elementary schools that appears not to be a school function. 7. Base member should make the determination of when to terminate patrol operations. Generally, this will be between 11:45 p.m. and 12:00 p.m. However, base station can decide to terminate earlier due to weather, time of year, activity in the evening, and/or any other relevant factors. Conversely, on-going activity under observation by a patrol would constitute continued operations by that patrol until the activity ceases or the police arrive.
1.Meet at base station approximately 8:45 p.m.
2.Before leaving the base station record patrol vehicle make & tag, mount watch magnetic signs.
3.Be sure have cell phone for contact with members, police, etc.
4.During a three hour patrol, you may need to take a bathroom/coffee break. Take magnetic signs or lock in vehicle (they have been taken). (Note: we are "rolling" patrols; meaning we continue to move throughout the watch. You cut our visibility and defeat our purpose by parking on a side street instead of moving around the neighborhood.)
5.DO NOT, REPEAT, DO NOT get out of your car to confront anyone for any reason!! Report a suspicious or reportable activity to the base station, move to a safe location and continue to monitor the activity/individuals. The base station will report to the Fairfax County Police.
6.When reporting an incident to base station, give the following information (and record on Patrol Log):
1.Location of activity (street and nearest cross-street)
2.Specific activity observed
3.Number and description of people involved
4.Description of car and license plate number, if possible
5.Direction of travel, if applicable
6.Report ANY activity at Orange Hunt Elementary School to base station. Vandalism is not uncommon. Try not to scare individuals off; police want to catch them.
7.Record & report open garage doors, base will alert the homeowner.
8.Record on Patrol Log damaged/missing street signs and intermittent or non-working street lights. These will be reported to proper authority. 9.Patrol should visit Orange Hunt Elem. School and report to base (and log) any activity that appears not to be a school scheduled event.
7.Report any unusual situations immediately -- better to have base station standing by while you review the situation.
8.Make notes regarding any unusual situations.
WHAT IS SUSPICIOUS OR A REPORTABLE ACTIVITY?
Many persons are hesitant to call the police because they just do not know which activities should be considered “suspicious or reportable." Others are worried about bothering the police or being embarrassed if their suspicions are unfounded. And still others do not call because they assume someone else has already called. Some just do not want to become involved.
Everyone should respond to suspicious activity in the same manner as they would want their neighbor to respond if their own family needed assistance, or if their property were being damaged. Whether a particular event is suspicious depends upon what is "normal" activity under the same circumstances. In many ways, the word "suspicious" is synonymous with "unusual.”
Obvious emergencies, such as Fire, Fighting, Rowdiness in the Street should be reported to the emergency police number, 911, immediately.
Depending upon circumstances, the following could be considered suspicious or reportable activities/situations and should be reported to the non-emergency police number, 703-691-2131:
2.Anyone forcibly entering a car or home.
3.Someone who runs from a home or school.
4.Any indication that a home or school has been forcibly entered.
5.Anyone with a weapon.
6.Someone whose dress or demeanor is not compatible with the neighborhood.
7.A person who seems to have no purpose in the neighborhood or is offering young children candy or money.
8.A stranger carrying items which could in fact be burglary tools or loot, such as, TV, radio, stereo, computer, pillowcase, etc.
9.Person(s) looking into parked cars or into windows of homes/schools, etc.
10.Someone sitting in a parked car for a prolonged period of time.
11.Adults loitering around schools, playgrounds, or secluded areas.
12.A car that seems to be "cruising" the area.
13.Moving, delivery or maintenance trucks parked at unoccupied homes.
14.A car that has been parked in the neighborhood for several days and is strange to the neighborhood, particularly if it has "out-of-town" plates.
15.Vehicles with broken trunks, windows, or open doors.
16.Dirty license plates on a clean car.
17.An individual who rings a doorbell of a home and then walks around to the rear.
18.Trash spilled on a sidewalk or steps. Burglars may use this as a test-day check to see if it is cleaned—an indication that someone is home.