Coon Rapids Police are looking for extra eyes to help keep the city safe through a new Community Watch Team. The voluntary program is a modern alternative to traditional neighborhood watch groups. Rather than watch your neighbor, the new program focuses on watching out for your neighbors.
“You get a safer community by having a connected community,” says Trish Heitman, community outreach specialist for the police department. Heitman says research shows that “old school” neighborhood watch groups were often ineffective at preventing crime.
You can also voluntarily register the location of personal
security or doorbell cameras, which could aid in police investigations. As technology improves and prices drop, more homes and
businesses have camera systems. The police department would like to know where
those cameras are. Police will not have access to these cameras, but may ask to
view footage if a crime occurs near a known camera location.
Detective Adam Jacobson says knowing where security cameras
are active can be crucial in a police investigation.
“That can save me hours of time,” says Jacobson. “Any little
bit of information in any type of a investigation can assist us in trying to
figure out who did it.”
Residents can also participate in the Community Watch Team in
a number of other ways:
- Sign up for monthly newsletters and neighborhood information
- Follow Coon Rapids Police on Facebook and Twitter
- Visit the website to view an interactive community crime map and/or submit crime tips
- Organize or attend a Night to Unite gathering in your neighborhood
Community Watch Team participants receive a blue sticker for
their door or window. Locations with a registered camera receive a green
Learn more about the Community Watch Team here.