Neighborhood Watch is coming back to Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Getting neighbors to work together to improve community safety is the goal of a program that is coming back to Fresno.

The Neighborhood Watch, the program that largely went away during the COVID-19 pandemic, is making its comeback, and Fresno police officials are working on bringing it back in full force. 

On Friday night, the program’s organizers held a workshop at Clovis West High School. 

Assemblymember Jim Patterson spoke at the workshop and says when the neighborhood watch was first brought to Fresno, crime was extremely high. 

“Unfortunately the times of needing each other and needing a more robust police department and a focus on car thefts, and on homicides and shootings and those kinds of things are kind of coming back. And I think this is the right time to really reinvigorate neighborhood watch,” he said. 

While Fresno Police said the homicide rate in 2022 and so far in 2023 are lower than the highs of 2021, neighborhood watch executive director Mary Haskin said the neighborhood watch is about more than just preventing and reporting crime. 

“A lot of times people don’t know what to do so sometimes they default and call the police all the time and sometimes it’s not the police that needs to help them. Sometimes there are low-level strategies that they can do themselves before they even call the police or in the meantime while they’re waiting for the police,” Haskin said. 

Patterson added that he wants people to know what resources are out there, what to look for when it comes to preventing crime, and how other agencies, like Beautify Fresno and the Marjorie Mason Center, are involved in keeping people safe. 

“So it’s wholistic, it’s the right time to come back, and the more people who know about it, I think the more people will utilize it,” Patterson said.