The Board requested a Crime Watch update and, thankfully, there isn’t much to report. Over the past several months I have passed on several concerns to our Community Resource Officer, Stefani L’Esperance (formerly Partridge). Officer L’Esperance always responds immediately and follows through to make sure each situation was resolved.
If you are curious as to what has happened recently in Venetian Isles or surrounding neighborhoods, please go to http://police.stpete.org/. Scroll down and you will see St. Pete Stat. Type in Venetian Isles and change the calls to “Police” instead of “See Click Fix” and you shall see our stats.
As always, if you have any safety concerns that don’t require immediate attention, please let me know. Also, I was invited by the Chief of Police to participate in the upcoming St. Petersburg Police Department’s accreditation process. If you have any concerns or praise that you would like for me to communicate, please call or text me at 813-205-1375.
And as a constant reminder, continue to lock your car and house doors ALL THE TIME!! That includes locking your back door when you take the boat out.
V.I. Crime Watch Coordinator
September 24, 2017
I’m currently participating in the eight week Citizens’ Police Academy, primarily to gain more knowledge as I serve as VI’s Crime Watch Coordinator.
We meet one evening each week for three hours and the material is intense. Most of the participants are considering law enforcement as a career. The first session was on communication, which included touring the Communications Center and being addressed by the Mayor and Chief of Police. We received too much information to offer here, but I thought it might be helpful each week if I give you a few highlights.
Neighbors looking out for neighbors is primarily why VI has fewer incidents than most St. Pete communities. You might have noticed that our Crime Watch Signs went up after the hurricane, which is another deterrent. And as I’ve said numerous times, make it harder for the criminals by locking your doors (including your back door when you take the boat out), turning your alarms on, installing a few cameras and turning on your outside lights at night. As we move into the holiday season, crime increases so please be vigilant.
This week we will be studying Use of Force. Have a safe week!
The Crime Watch Committee met Friday to primarily discuss the most effective avenues to communicate urgent news to VI residents. We were fortunate to have Chris Ewing and Glenn Whelan of the Communications Committee join us. Currently, most news goes out through the website and email distribution. We recently established a Twitter account for VI and it is already starting to gain some followers. Since most folks text, it was the consensus that we also need to establish a text alert system. The Communications Committee and Board are already looking into some options for texting alerts to the community. In the meantime, please encourage your neighbors to visit the Crime Watch page on the VIHA website and to follow the VIHA Twitter account for important updates.
In regards to you observing criminal activity, suspected activity or a pattern that gets your attention, as a reminder, here are the numbers to call:
The most effective crime deterrent is neighbors looking out for one another. As Officer Partridge says, “I nosey neighbor is a good neighbor!” In particular, keep an eye out for the neighbors surrounding your home. I’ve attached a “Know Your Neighborhood” form to fill out and keep by your phone. If you see something that doesn’t look right, give your neighbor a call.
Venetian Isles has a lower crime rate primarily because we are harder to get to and our neighbors already look out for one another. That being said, the criminals also have GPS and, as you well know, there has been an uptick in car burglaries and grand theft auto. The perpetrators are primarily juveniles and they are out each day and night looking for their next conquest. So as you’ve heard time and time again, lock your car and house doors and keep alarms, cameras and lights on. If we continue to make it difficult for them to steal, they will move on.
Finally, in regards to the Neighborhood Crime Watch signs, they were ordered several months ago. According to Officer Partridge, they should be installed any day now.
Please call, text or email me with any questions or concerns - or if you would like to help with the effort.
Have a terrific day, stay safe,
As some of your know, I recently initiated an effort to bring a Neighborhood Crime Watch to VI. I have completed the training and background check to become a Coordinator. I meet with our District Crime Prevention Officer, Stefanie Patridge, Tuesday to get my "badge." Officer Partridge has already ordered signs to be installed at the three entrances so I'll also get an update as to when they will be installed.
I've already met with several neighbors who have offered to serve on the Watch Committee. Thank you Laura Reitan and Steve Cropper!! The more folks we have involved in the Watch the better. Therefore, we will be having an organizational/brainstorming meeting this Friday (June 23rd) at 5:30 at my home, 1940 Illinois. If you are interested in helping out, or just want to share your thoughts, we welcome your participation. And if you are unable to attend, but would still like to help, please email me at CindyOatess@gmail.com.
Officer Partridge and the SPPD is really excited that VI is coming on board. Hopefully, we will see many of you Friday night!!
In the meantime, have a terrific (and safe) week,