Clearing Night Force
Neighborhood Watch Group
Founded: November 1996
To promote neighborhood safety by patrolling the community and contacting police or proper authorities when action is required.
To assess community problems through the use of problem solving techniques.
On November 16, 1996 the Clearing Night Force Watch Group began our weekly patrols of our neighborhood's streets, alleys and parks in CAPS Beat 812 (59th – 65th, Harlem – Central). The founding members of our watch group believed that every community goes through changes, both good and bad. As concerned residents, we realized that we must never take our neighborhood environment for granted. We believe that all members of a community must become vigilant and proactive in helping to maintain a safe, secure and clean neighborhood.
As volunteers on patrol, we are watchful for suspicious activity that may warrant police attention by calling 911. We document the need for city services that need attention. We submit city service requests to our 13th & 23rd Aldermanic offices. We communicate with our beat officers to share information about things that concern our safety in our community. We pay special attention to the parks, schools and alleys. We participate in problem solving strategies that are developed at the monthly CAPS Beat 812 meeting.
Each member of our volunteer group usually gives one evening per month on patrol. We assist the police by being additional “eyes and ears”. We patrol with a partner cruising up and down the streets and alleys, around parks, taking note of suspicious activity, graffiti, potholes, abandoned vehicles, street/alley light outages, garbage carts without lids, overgrown weeds, etc. We support our police and victims of crimes by attending court cases on crimes relevant to our community.
Over the past 20 years as an organized watch group, we have submitted thousands of city services for attention. This may seem insignificant to some, but if you travel through other neighborhoods throughout the city that are plagued with graffiti, abandoned houses, potholes, garbage on the streets, alley/street lights outages, you probably feel unsafe as you travel through that area. You may also notice that there aren’t drug dealers/gang members hanging out on our corners or in front of an abandoned house. There may be abandoned houses in our neighborhood because of the down turn in the economy; they are not opened and unsecured. We won’t allow that to occur in our community!
As a neighborhood watch group, we care about the environment of our community.
Without awareness, concern and proactive intervention, deterioration of a neighborhood becomes inevitable.
We just never take our neighborhood for granted.
It's "everyone's responsibility to care".
That's why we do what we do.