Sun Valley residents, WCSO launch neighborhood watch

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 6/22/2013 10:17 pm
SUN VALLEY, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Sun Valley residents are teaming up to make their neighborhoods safer.

They're setting up a neighborhood watch program with the help of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office.

More than 30 people attended the first meeting Saturday and they're ready to get the new program up and running and take their safety into their own hands.

"I fear for my son's safety," Sun Valley resident Debbie Medina said.

Medina said her garage was broken into Friday while she was at work.

She said it's not unusual to see people who don't live nearby hanging around the neighborhood.

"There's all kinds of strange people in Sun Valley," Medina said.

Medina joined about three dozen Sun Valley residents in supporting a new neighborhood watch program.

Washoe County Commissioner Kitty Jung was also there in support.

"Police can't be all things at all times to all people," Jung said. "So I really want to support my Sun Valley constituents."

Jung said she'll help those constituents get the program up and running so they can make their homes safer.

"If everybody has eyes and ears for their whole neighborhood then [criminals] go where it's easier," Jung said. "These criminals are professionals and they don't want to make their jobs any harder on themselves."

Washoe County Sheriff's Office Reserve Lieutenant Teresa Aquila is the neighborhood watch coordinator. She said there are 41 active watch programs in the county, one of which she says has seen a dramatic improvement.

"Six years ago when they started the program they were getting residential burglaries one and two a day, and they have reduced that because of being so observant down to maybe one or two every three to four months," Aquila said.

Medina said if her neighbors were already a part of the watch, her home might not have been hit.

"If they were involved they would've called it in," Medina said.

Aquila said she might be right.

"It helps to deter crime," Aquila said. "Neighbors know exactly what needs to be in their neighborhoods."

Which is why Aquila wants them to take action.

"If they want to make their place safer, working together is what makes it happen," she said. 

If you'd like to join Sun Valley's neighborhood watch efforts - or if you live in an area without a watch group and want to get one started - you can call Reserve Lieutenant Teresa Aquila at (775) 240-2308 or email tee702@aol.com.
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