Now that spring is here, it’s time for the Rutherford Civic Association Neighborhood Watch to get started again too. Neighborhood Watch is an extension of what we all do: looking out for our neighbors and helping out when we see a need. Our patrol presence is a deterrent to potential criminal behavior and support for our community’s safety, as we look for unusual situations, suspicious activity, vandalism, street lights out, or other safety concerns.
We will provide you with an easy-to-use reflective safety vest with “Rutherford Neighborhood Watch” in large letters on the back, to help increase the visibility of the Neighborhood Watch program. This is a convenient way for you to help with Neighborhood Watch in those blocks where you usually walk, fitting it into your regular schedule.
If you want to participate in Neighborhood Watch as either a driver or walker, or have any questions, contact Christine Brim (202-379-6776 or firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can provide you with your Neighborhood Watch vest, your personal copy of the manual, and the basic training recommended by the Fairfax County Police Department.
To sign up for the traditional Neighborhood
Here are our current Rutherford Civic Association Neighborhood Watch Walking Program Manual guidelines:
2. Take your cell phone. You can keep the cell phone in one of the vest pockets or where it’s most handy for you.
3. Look for hazards. Look for unusual situations, suspicious activity, vandalism, street lights out, or other safety concerns.
4. Report emergencies to 911. Report situations as appropriate to 911 or the Fairfax Police Non-Emergency number (703-691-2131).
5. Report local neighborhood information to Rutherford Neighborhood Watch. If you see a problem at a neighbor’s house, such as a loose gutter or a spigot with a significant leak (common in cold weather), just report the hazard and address to the Rutherford Neighborhood Watch Report number: (703) 249-9183. Please add that number to your speed dial, so you can dial it quickly if needed for non-emergency reports that do not require police attention. When you call that number you’ll immediately hear a short greeting and you can record a voicemail. The voicemail will be sent as an email to the Rutherford Neighborhood Watch email account for any needed follow-up tasks. The Neighborhood Watch coordinator checks the email account daily.
6. Report streetlight outages or downed powerlines to Dominion Power at 1–866-366-4357. The numbers that you will find on the streetlight poles are a bit irregular and inconsistent. Just report all the numbers you see, along with the nearest house address (ie “to the right of 4316 Argonne….”
7. Report, do not confront – use common sense at all times. Remember, your presence wearing the Rutherford Neighborhood Watch vest is the deterrent, not your personal actions. Never confront or follow a suspicious person; call the appropriate police number instead. Also, do not assume that a stranger or oddly-behaving person is an unwelcome outsider; just observe and report. It is very important that Neighborhood Watch not be perceived as doing any age/race/class/etc profiling, but we also want to observe the common sense advice of “See Something, Say Something.”
8. Leave all weapons at home – If you usually carry a handgun on a walk, please leave it at home when you are on Neighborhood Watch walks. It is against Neighborhood Watch policy to have any weapon with you during a Neighborhood Watch patrol.
9. Take the kids – Children or youths are welcome to participate with you on a walk, but you must be 21 years or older to wear the Rutherford Neighborhood Watch vest.