King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn introduced legislation that would create a pilot program that would help select neighborhoods create community groups to monitor and prevent criminal activity.
StoryToday King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn introduced legislation (attached) that would create a pilot program that would help select neighborhoods create community groups to monitor and prevent criminal activity.
Dubbed the Neighborhood Engagement Pilot Program, the groups would be staffed by the King County Sheriff’s Office, which would connect up to three pilot neighborhoods interested in the program with the needed resources, education, and information to design and implement a crime-prevention plan. Community-led activities could include posting signs and distributing information on best practices to prevent crime or coordinating a crime watch or clean-up effort.
“As folks start to see crime increase, this pilot program would give them the opportunity to work with the Sheriff’s Office to take the lead on preventing crime in their neighborhoods,” said Dunn. “In addition to allowing communities to participate in their safety and build relationships with local law enforcement, this would be an inexpensive effort that has already been proven to be effective in lowering crime.”
Community-led increased surveillance is understood to reduce crime because of its deterring effect on the perceptions and decision-making of potential offenders, who may notice the high level of surveillance and in turn decide not to strike or possibly target a different area. A study done by The Crime Prevention Research Review found that most areas associated with a neighborhood watch experienced lower levels of crime.
This legislation will be heard in the Law, Justice, Health, and Human Services Committee in the coming weeks.