Tools for Communicating with your Neighbors

  • By Spokane C.O.P.S.
  • 06 Jul, 2016

Check out these free resources to communicate with neighbors

Neighbors who are connected together become powerful watchdogs at preventing crime. They can more easily identify suspicious people, can assist each other with tasks like checking in on homes while the owners are on vacation, and more. But before neighbors can be connected to prevent crime, they must be connected to communicate. These tools are free and are a great resource to communicating with your neighbor.

Private Facebook Group:   Facebook allows users to make private groups where only those approved by its creator can see the posts. Think of it like a tailored newsfeed with just your neighbors posting about community issues. It’s a good option if every neighbor has Facebook, since you can create events and post messages, photos, and files.

Facebook Messenger: Facebook also allows users to create conversations in Messenger. Think of it like an email distribution, except everyone can comment immediately. Users can send photos and files over Messenger. You can make one group message where all topics are discussed within it, or you can make different conversations (such as one for general comments, one for coordinating National Night Out party, etc.)

Email Distribution: This works well if not everyone is on social media. Neighbors can shoot each other quick messages, such as requesting a vacation home check or reminder of upcoming National Night Out party. If one neighbor wants, he or she can create a neighborhood newsletter with resources and reminders. Neighbors can send them information to put into the weekly/monthly newsletter so all the information is distributed once and in one place.

Slack:  Slack is a website (with an option for an app as well) that allows users to share messages and information while providing options for specialization in an organized way. Users can create sub-groups (such as a National Night Out party planning committee) as well as direct message each other. Individuals only need an email and an internet connection to access it.

Next Door:  Next Door  is a tool designed around neighborhood safety. The site provides a map with a user directory, events calendar, and the option to create public and private groups. Users can post messages to talk about crime trends or other community issues. Before individuals can access the tool, they must verify their address (which helps ensure security).

Block Watch:  Block Watch  is a Spokane C.O.P.S. program that facilitates relationships among neighbors and improves relationships between the police and the communities they serve. Block Watch requires someone to volunteer as a Block Watch Coordinator and for the neighbors to attend Block Watch meetings to stay informed. To find out more on forming a Block Watch, click  here . To get tips on making a strong Block Watch, click  here .

National Night Out: National Night Out is a yearly event that brings neighbors together to build relationships, improve relations between neighbors and the police, and improves neighbors’ knowledge of crime prevention information. It’s a great opportunity to make sure all the neighbors know each other and to strengthen the relationships among neighbors. You can use NNO to facilitate the sharing of contact information and bringing everyone together to decide what method of communication works best for them. To find out more on National Night Out, click  here . For National Night Out party ideas, click  here . If you’re going to host a party, make sure to  register  it by July 27th (you’ll get a free planning guide and the opportunity to request special guests like police officers or city council members).

For more crime prevention and safety information, follow us on Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest , and LinkedIn .
Want to make Spokane a safer place? Volunteer at your local C.O.P.S. shop with one of our crime prevention programs , from lifting fingerprints off of vehicles to catch car prowlers to organizing a block watch for your neighborhood.

Spokane C.O.P.S.

By Spokane C.O.P.S. 13 Oct, 2016
With recent headlines about a sex offender being released in Spokane (See Here and Here ), the best way to safeguard your neighborhoods and families is to be well informed. The Sex Offender Registry is a tool allowing citizens to access information on registered sex offenders. Here’s a breakdown on what you need to know.
By Spokane C.O.P.S. 07 Oct, 2016

Spokane C.O.P.S. is here with Safe Streets! Safe Streets is a step-by-step approach, channeling all your frustrations into a plan of action utilizing civil courts. Since nuisance houses are defined in the city municipal code, you can effectively take the owner of the house (whether they live there or the house is a rental property) to court for violating this ordinance. A judgment against the owner results in fines paid to affected neighbors.

Safe Streets is a community action guide for the city and county of Spokane that includes community policing tools for helping make your neighborhood safe and nuisance free. Safe Streets motivates individuals to participate at the most fundamental level of the democratic process to create a community that reflects the standards and moral of the residents. It also teaches the community how to maintain those standards. Safe Streets will show you how to recognize nuisance house danger signs,  organize your block, form a team with police and possible city officials, document a public nuisance, research property ownership, and deal with the cooperative and uncooperative property owners. Safe Streets empowers citizens to create a nuisance-free neighborhood that is a safe, clean, and a healthy environment for individuals and families.

Safe Streets can be a much faster way to get results than other options. Oftentimes, even repeated visits by the police is not enough to change behavior. But by facing legal action and potentially large fines for failure to act, owners often deal with the problem immediately as that is preferable to going to court.  The Safe Street program has been implemented over 450 times with successful results.

Stop by your neighborhood C.O.P.S. shop for more information.





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By Spokane C.O.P.S. 07 Sep, 2016

Over 7,000 cases of personal property theft have been recorded so far this year (up 4.5% from this time last year). In many of these cases, Spokane police officers are able to recover the stolen property...with no way of identifying the owner. When they can’t find the owner, the items eventually go to auction to free up much needed space in the police evidence facility. This raises an important question-if your property is stolen and recovered by police, would you be able to prove it’s yours?

That’s where Operation ID comes into play. The idea is to mark your valuable possessions with an identifying number (like your driver’s license number). Engraving a number helps deter theft since it’s harder to sell an ID-ed item to a pawn shop. If the item is stolen, the identifying number helps you prove ownership of the item to the police.

Operation ID also involves creating an inventory of the make and model of all ID-ed items, which you then put in a secure place. In the event of theft, fire damage, or other incident where you need to make a claim to your insurance company for item replacement, your information is ready for the insurance company.

Operation ID is a free service that only takes a few minutes. Bring your valuables to your local C.O.P.S. shop to borrow an engraver and pick up an inventory log.

Another property identification program is , a city wide bike registration database. The information uploaded during registration is used by police to connect a recovered bike to its rightful owner. You can bring your bike by your local C.O.P.S. shop and our volunteers will register it for you (and you can get a free child’s helmet while supplies last).

For more crime prevention information, check out our Facebook , Twitter , Linkedin , and Pinterest .
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But there is one thing everyone can agree on: staying safe. And we here at Spokane C.O.P.S. are, as usual, committed to your safety. So we’ve created a list of a few things that you can do to help keep your kids safe as they head back to school.
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