Neighborhood Watch Highlighted During Crime Prevention Month

Residents Realtors Supporting Crime Prevention Month – Training Still Being Conducted for Neighborhood Watch Groups Photo: Pam Hoffman, Sheriff’s Services Specialist conducts training at High Desert Association of Realtors on how to start a Neighborhood Watch group. High Desert Association of REALTORS® (HDAOR) is continuing its effort to promote the creation of Neighborhood Watch groups throughout the High Desert, sponsoring monthly training to prepare Block Captains to organize their neighborhoods. “Since January we have held monthly training sessions, and we believe in support of National Neighborhood Watch Month it’s critical to encourage residents to get involved,” said Association President Becky Otwell. Out of concern about the passage of Proposition 47 in November 2014, HDAOR adopted a year-long initiative to work with local Crime Prevention Officers to encourage residents to take steps to reduce their risks of becoming a crime victim. California Proposition 47, dubbed the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative, reduces the classification of most “nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes” from a felony to a misdemeanor. The measure requires misdemeanor sentencing instead of felony for the following crimes: • Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950 • Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950 • Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950 • Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950 • Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950 • Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950 • Personal use of most illegal drugs “These crimes mean that more criminals are roaming our streets, and these are type of crimes that many High Desert residents can fall victim so we just want to help people take greater responsibility for their personal safety and security,” said Otwell. Neighborhood Watch is an organized group of citizens devoted to crime and vandalism prevention within a neighborhood. Otwell stated that realtors in offices throughout the High Desert are providing information and resources on how start and maintain a Neighborhood Watch group. “Although our Neighborhood Watch Initiative began as a year-long effort, we have decided that we’ll continue to provide the training the last Wednesday of each month at 3 and 6 p.m. to bring people together to find out how Neighborhood Watch works and how to get involved,” said Becky Otwell, HDAOR President. The next training session, which is free and lasts an hour, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 28, and all sessions are held at the HDAOR office at 11890 Hesperia Road in Hesperia. To make schedule to attend a training session, contact the High Desert Association of Realtors at (760) 244-8841. ### Victor Valley Association of REALTORS® original charter was May 22, 1948. June 1, 2014 the Victor Valley and Barstow Association of REALTORS® merged forming the new High Desert Association of REALTORS®. Throughout its history, the High Desert Association of REALTORS® has always strived especially hard to support the needs of the High Desert communities it serves. The HDAR sponsors several fundraising events each year, with the money raised from these events contributed to scholarships and several local charity organizations.

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