February 1, 2012

Get to Know Your Neighborhood: Garfield Neighbors

The Santa Cruz Police Department works closely with neighborhood organizations to ensure open lines of communication with our residents. We reached out to one such group, the Garfield Neighbors, to learn more about them. We hope this will be the first in a series of getting to know your local neighborhood organizations so you can become involved.

 Santa Cruz Police: Tell us a little about Garfield Neighbors

Garfield Neighbors: Garfield Neighbors is comprised of highly engaged residents who live near Garfield Park and are dedicated to improving neighborhood safety. We’re a results oriented organization and as we’ve built a track record of achievement our membership has grown. Today over 225 unique households are members. As the group’s administrator, I work with a steering committee that helps prioritize which issues get our focus. Weekly newsletters summarize criminal activity reported over the three most recent weeks and other public safety-related items specific to our neighborhood. The information is culled CrimeMapping.com, the SCPD’s Media Release Log, the SCPD’s Press Releases, The Sentinel, and feedback/suggestions contributed by our members. Throughout the week neighbors can post information on our Facebook page to make others aware of suspicious behavior.

Santa Cruz Police: What is the general area covered by the organization?
Garfield Neighbors: Most of our focus is on Garfield Park, The Circles, and The Almar Shopping Center. However, our weekly newsletters touch on public safety issues in the geographic area bordered by Mission Street, West Cliff Drive, Swift Street, and Bay St. 

Santa Cruz Police: What accomplishments have you seen? 

Garfield Neighbors: We have significantly reduced illegal camping and drug activity in our neighborhood. We’ve also convinced Safeway to be aggressive in addressing criminal behavior on their property. In January of 2012, 55% of police reports filed in our neighborhood originated from The Almar Shopping Center.

4)    Santa Cruz Police: What partnerships have you built with SCPD?

Garfield Neighbors: We are very thankful for the outstanding support Garfield Neighbors receives from the Santa Cruz Police Department. We work closely with Lt. Colleen McMahon, Officer Ken Deeg, and Deputy Chief Steve Clark. Along with the rest of the department, they’ve helped make our neighborhood a better place to live.

5)        Santa Cruz Police: What things would you like to see improved?

Garfield Neighbors: Recycle theft is emerging as a significant concern. Thieves used to pilfer though garbage and recycle barrels on trash day, but increasingly they are entering side yards any day of the week.

6)     Santa Cruz Police: How can people get involved?

Garfield Neighbors Just send us an e-mail at GarfieldNeighbors@gmail.com.