With 16 active groups and around two thousand members, the Guam Neighborhood Watch Program has been instrumental in improving public safety on the island. This weekend, the program is set to hold a summit to discuss its accomplishments.
Established around four decades ago, the Guam Neighborhood Watch Program has equipped the island’s residents with the capability to keep their community safe by preventing crime. In an effort to revitalize the program after several years of dormancy, the program will be holding an informational summit this weekend to relay its success, encourage recruitment, and present safety advice and technology.
According to GPD Chief Steve Ignacio, the watch started from rather humble beginnings.
“I think there’s a robust, well-organized Neighborhood Watch Program. If you go back to the beginning of this program, they were just little chat groups that were created,” Ignacio said.
Referencing the exponential growth of the watch program within the last few years, GPD spokesperson Sgt. Paul Tapao discussed how the watch has bolstered public safety on the island, citing the example of the crime rate in the village of Barrigada dropping by 50 percent since the establishment of its watch group.
“We saw a significant drop in that because the constituents of that village took advantage of an opportunity to take their community back. When the criminals hear that they have a neighborhood watch going, they don’t wanna get caught,” Tapao said.
Tapao added that equipment vendors will showcase sophisticated doors and state of the art surveillance cameras as well as provide guidance for residents to better secure their homes.
The summit will take place this Saturday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the GCC Multipurpose Room in Building 400.