Government / Politics

Hollister City Council Votes To Fund Neighborhood Watch Program

The Hollister City Council passed a resolution approving a supplemental appropriation to fund the Hollister Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Program. The appropriation will fund costs related to equipment and supplies for the Neighborhood Watch Prog

Marty Richman spoke in support of the Neighborhood Watch Program funding saying that this was “the most cost effective way to fight crime is the community cooperation that our community gives this Police Department”. He said that he “does not rate the Police Department on the number of crimes, because they often have no control of that.” He said he rates the Police Department by, “it’s relationship to the people who live here, because they are the people who know what is going on and know who is doing what and they are cost effective people to police the community…”and by their ability to keep the kids out of trouble and keep the neighborhood safe. He said that he supports the funding fully also because, “this is good for the relations with the community between the Police Department and the Community.”

 

Ashley Sand, mother of four children, spoke about the recently started Neighborhood Watch program in the Whale Park neighborhood which she said has had 50 families sign up for the Neighborhood Watch program in that area. She said they were wondering why they couldn’t put signs up saying telling people they were being watched. She said that the neighborhood is ready to take their streets back and that if the neighbors get together, those causing the problems will move on. She told the council that, “it is not okay for her children to encounter trash and condoms when they go to get the mail.” and, “ it will be a big thing when people start seeing the signs going up.” “People in the neighborhood want the park to be safe without their kids seeing condoms and needles.”

 

Councilmember Victor Gomez commented that he believed that this was just part of the plan that Chief David Westrick has set out in regards to community engagement. He complimented the Chief in his successful efforts to engage the community. He noted the need for people to take back their communities and to re-engage with their neighbors. 

 

Chief Westrick expressed his intention that the Neighborhood Watch program become city-wide.

 

Councilmember Ray Friend noted his experience in the past with the program and that it is an important way for people to get to know one another to improve communication in the neighborhoods.

Councilmember Pauline Valdivia spoke about the opportunity to renew the program and offered her assistance in her neighborhood.

Mayor Ignacio Velazquez noted that several neighborhoods are pulling together and that this was what is going to make a difference. He said his goal was “to make sure that the police have time to go to the donut shops.”

The item passed unanimously

BenitoLink Staff