LIHUE — There are about 15 Neighborhood Watch groups all around Kauai.
“They are just the eyes and ears for police,” said Roderick Green, a lieutenant with the Kauai Police Department.
There are groups in Princeville, Aliomanu Estates, Wailua Homesteads, Waipouli Road in Kapaa, Puakea in Lihue, and Kakela Makai in Kalaheo.
In a recent visit to the Kaniko‘o Senior Housing in Lihue, Green talked to residents about the Neighborhood Watch program and its curriculum.
“Every day we encounter situations where we are called to be the eyes and ears of law enforcement,” he said. “Not only does Neighborhood Watch allow citizens to help in the fight against crime, it is also an opportunity to improve their neighborhoods, and build their bond through service.”
Two new Neighborhood Watch programs have begun this year — Kaniko‘o Senior Housing at Rice Camp Phase I and Phase II, and Papaloa Road in Kapaa.
Neighborhood Watch signs have been installed at both of these new locations.
Once a group is established, KPD gives an initial presentation on the Neighborhood Watch curriculum, Green said.
Participants keep an eye on their neighborhoods for suspicious behavior and report it to police. They are never advised to confront a situation themselves.
“Additionally, it’s beneficial if groups go on to meet on their own and continue to communicate amongst themselves. Meeting frequently establishes a strong rapport between neighbors,” he said.
Neighborhood Watch groups can also meet with a detective or supervisor specific to their area to discuss problems they’ve witnessed and to learn of the latest crime trends.
“Neighborhood Watch programs provide a unique and proactive approach to crime prevention,” said Darryl Perry, KPD chief. “It’s a long-term commitment with lasting results towards a safer community.”
Forming a Neighborhood Watch program requires at least five interested households.
To join or start a Neighborhood Watch program in your area, or for more information, contact Lance Okasaki at 241-1647.