DLBA Launches Community Watch Starter Kit

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To help promote public safety and community engagement, Downtown Long Beach Associates’ (DLBA) President and CEO Kraig Kojian announced Friday, the implementation of a Community Watch Group (CWG) Starter Kit, which is designed to prevent crime through community awareness and open communication between residents, businesses and the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).

“The number one priority for our community is public safety and sense of security,” shared Kojian. “We developed the Starter Kit and launched this program to make it easy for residents and businesses to start their own CWG. DLBA staff, in partnership with LBPD, will walk stakeholders through the process of engaging their neighbors to form their own groups and assist each other’s efforts to enhance the quality of life in our Downtown.”

One of the benefits of CWGs is that it places the power in the hands of community members, empowering them to be educated about crime prevention and how to report suspicious behavior. It also promotes a sense of community by encouraging neighbors to meet and talk regularly and by inspiring everyone to keep a watchful eye on their block and community as a whole. The DLBA’s CWG Starter Kit walks participants through three easy phases to start a group – Learning and Research, Development and Action. The Starter Kit also provides helpful resources like sample meeting agendas, sample flyers and information about helpful tools like the Go LBPD App and Nixle alerts.

Three Downtown neighborhood associations will receive a CWG orientation this week from DLBA Residential Coordinator Steve Be Cotte who will introduce the Starter Kit, along with a LBPD representative, to the Promenade Area Residents Association (PARA), West Gateway Neighborhood Association and Ocean Residents Community Association (ORCA). Residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations are all encouraged to participate.

The launch of the CWG Starter Kit comes at a time when crime in Long Beach is at a 40-year low.  In Downtown, violent crime is down 15% and property crime is down 8%, with overall crime down 19%.

“Crime is at an all-time low because of the hard work and dedication of our police department and as a result of their close working relationship with residents and businesses,” added Michelle Molina, Chair of the DLBA Public Safety Committee. “The DLBA aims to build on that momentum by providing another helpful tool to promote communication and crime prevention in our neighborhoods.”

The CWG Starter Kit is available to all Downtown stakeholders at www.downtownlongbeach.org. Individuals interested in starting a CWG are encouraged to call the DLBA at 562.436.4259 for assistance.

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