YAKIMA, Wash. -- Patricia Jamie is on the lookout in her neighborhood. She wants to ensure her family is safe. That's why she's part of the neighborhood block watch.
”You just want to make sure crime doesn't happen in your neighborhood and so you just want to make sure, watch it," said Patricia Jamie, a block watch captain. Dozens of neighborhoods in Yakima bear the block watch signs. More pop up each year. And, there's been tremendous growth.
Five years ago, there were 37 groups in the city. Now, there are 86 active block watches. In recent years as the number of block watches increased, the number of residential burglaries decreased. "It does work, it helps. And you get to know your neighbors. If you don't get to know your neighbors and trust them nothing works," said Jamie.
Take a look at this map broken down by YPD's nine patrol districts. District 9 has the most block watches and the fewest reported burglaries this year. It's also one of them more populated districts. Four others districts with larger population bases don't have the same block watch support and have seen a lot more burglaries.
Police say block watch groups are a big reason why residential burglaries have gone down.
"They have a large impact on reducing crime. That's an extra set of eyes and people in areas where you're not going to have a police officer everyday," said Jack Curtsinger of the Yakima Police Department.
Patricia does her part. She says she reports suspicious activity when she sees it. And, she's confident her neighbors do the same.
”Very nice that 24 hours a day we're always comfortable that we know our neighborhood is safe," said Jamie.
She credits her peace of mind to the block watch group.
If you are interested in starting a block watch group or joining one click here.