Neighborhood Watch Groups, Surveillance Systems Help Combat Rising Crime

There has been a resurgence of neighborhood watch groups in Houston and other major cities faced with a spike in violent crime.

Houston Police Officers' Union President Doug Griffith says neighborhood watch groups are a great deterrent against crime, and HPD took it a step further several decades ago with its own citywide program.

“The Positive Interaction Program, every neighborhood has a representative, they're going to be at the stations, plus there's a citywide meeting every three months,” he says.

“You'll connect with others from your neighborhood. You'll pass ideas. You'll pass complaints along.”

New technology has only enhanced neighborhood watch efforts.

“We solve a lot of crime based on Ring doorbells and camera systems that neighbors have up because it catches everything,” says Griffith. “I believe there's a website you go on and kind of register that you have a camera. That way if something happens in your neighborhood the officers can contact you.”

As for neighborhood apps and social media, Griffith says you should always call police to investigate, adding that online forums quickly turn into gossip sites.

The best deterrent he says, is self awareness.

“Ladies have to be very cognizant of holding onto their purses when they're going to their car. Pay attention to who is driving around the parking. Pay attention when you leave a store. Is someone following you? If you go to the bank, make sure no one is following you.”

“You just have to be self aware of what's going on around you,” says Griffith.

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