By Luke Phillips
Holtville has always been a safe place to live, but residents will soon have the opportunity to help make it even safer.
The Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, now in charge of law enforcement in Holtville, will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, March 9 for any residents interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch program in their neighborhood.
“It’s really just an informational meeting,” said Holtville Police Chief Clint Erro. “We’re just going to explain what the program is and some of the benefits and what it’s going to take to have it here. If people are interested, that’s what we’re here for. We’re going to show them the way to do it.”
Paulina Solis, Crime Prevention Coordinator with the Sheriff’s Department, says that the meeting will teach residents the basics about how Neighborhood Watch programs can be tailored to the needs of any specific neighborhood.
“Each neighborhood is different,” Solis said. “We just want to show residents how the program can work around people’s needs. This is the public’s program. We don’t tell you how to run it, we just provide resources and encouragement.”
Solis says the programs are key to preventing crime in the community.
“We want to point out how important the role of citizens is in helping to facilitate the role of the deputies,” Solis said. “In the end, it’s all a team effort.”
The sheriffs department already runs Neighborhood Watch programs in other unincorporated communities in the county, but Holtville will be their first program in an official city and Solis says that she expects it to be one of the biggest.
“I expect a decent turnout,” Solis said. “We already have one group in Holtville and it has been going strong for more than two years.”
Solis is referring to a Neighborhood Watch group in a neighborhood north of Holtville, just over the city limits. Solis says that residents reported a dramatic drop in crime in the neighborhood after the group was formed and bought neighborhood watch signs to post in the area.
The informational Neighborhood Watch meeting will take place Tuesday, March 9, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Holtville Civic Center. For more information contact Paulina Solis at (760) 482-2434.
By Luke Phillips