You may wonder why our neighborhood decided to have a citizen patrol:
Our group is comprised of neighbors who wish to be there to help the other neighbors.
We want to create a safer community for our families.
We want to build positive relationships with our neighbors.
We want to help law enforcement officials.
There are actually about 37 active citizen patrols throughout Omaha and more patrols forming all the time. The police cannot be at all places at all times, but the citizen patrols can help by being the eyes and ears for the police and calling in any suspicious activity to them. We are fathers, mothers, grandparents, single people, married people, divorced people, people of every race, people of every religion, people from a diverse background, people who occupy your neighborhood and care about their neighbors. We want to make this neighborhood a safe place to live, play and work. This is a great opportunity to get to know other people in the neighborhood on a more personal level and make some new friends.
Our boundaries have been established by the city and the police department. The boundaries for the Miller Park Minne Lusa Citizen Patrol group are Browne on the South, Craig Street on the North, Florence Boulevard on the East and 30th Street on the West.
The investment of time is quite small. Each person is only required to patrol twice a month and it normally takes two hours to patrol our area.
We go out in pairs with at least two vehicles and at least two people per vehicle. The Miller Park Minne Lusa area is divided into quadrants and both vehicles are always in the same quadrant at the same time. One vehicle is patrolling the East and West streets and the other vehicle patrolling the North and South streets. Each vehicle is equipped with identification, radios, police scanners and cell phones. We are in constant contact with each other and normally we will frequently pass by each other. If we see any suspicious activity, we call the activity in to 911 immediately. We do NOT get out of our vehicle and we do NOT confront or apprehend anyone. We are the eyes and ears for the police, but always stay out of the way and allow the police to do their job.
You need to be willing to invest a few hours a month into making your neighborhood a better place to live and a willingness to make a positive difference in your community. You do need to be trained before you are able to patrol. This requires that you have a clean record and are able to pass a background check. We then sign you up for a training class with the OCCP (Omaha Coalition of Citizen Patrols). This class is held quarterly and normally runs about three hours. You only take this class one time. You will be issued your I.D. badge at this class for a $1. contribution. Then you need to ride along with other trained patrollers, while they are out patrolling for three patrols. This will give you your hands-on training. After you have completed all your training, you will be assigned to a team. You can either pick people you have patrolled with and enjoy their company or be assigned to a different team. We always put experienced patrollers with new patrollers, so there will always be someone with you who knows exactly what to do. If you would like to find out more, come to our meeting the 1st Thursday of every month in the pavilion in Miller Park at 6:30 pm.
For more information or to get started with your training, please call Kathy Holtz at 402-212-7035 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have all the information your need and want to pre-register for your OCCP Training Class, you can do so on the OCCP Website: www.omaha-occp.org