Vallejo Police Department Shrinks & Neighborhood Watch Catches On

VALLEJO (KCBS) – The popularity of the Neighborhood Watch program has grown steadily amid police layoffs.

There are now 100 neighborhood watch groups around Vallejo, compared to just 10 in the summer of 2009, said Tony Pearsall, executive director of Fighting Back Partnership, a non-profit that uses grant money to train the groups.

KCBS Margie Shafer Reporting:

“There’s less officers on patrol, so people want to know what they can do to protect themselves, and how they can help each other,” he said.

A year before the city declared bankruptcy, the Vallejo Police Department employed 146 sworn officers. Now there are 95, and the city’s K-9 and SWAT units were temporarily suspended at the end of the summer.

Residents said they welcomed the increased vigilance of the neighborhood groups, and participants said they were proud of having averted break-ins.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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