Join Neighborhood Watch today!

You can participate as a

• Member (receive neighborhood crime updates only)
• Block Captain (organize your neighbors to take a stand against crime)
• Steering Committee (become an Neighborhood Watch Coordinator)

Please contact us at [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected].

Take me Home Program 

Co-Chair Cindi Silady and Raina Upasana

The Scripps Ranch Civic Association is a 50 year old community volunteer nonprofit town council. We organized and manage the largest neighborhood watch program in San Diego County. While we are in Scripps Ranch, we also have organized and managing neighborhood watch programs for Sabre Springs and Carmel Mountain Ranch. Each neighborhood watch program is separate and distinct from each other to honor the individuality of each community we serve. The three neighborhood watch programs are registered with the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and National Neighborhood Watch – a Division of the National Sherrifs’ Association (NSA).

How the Death of the Old Neighborhood Watch Lead to Its Rebirth
The Scripps Ranch community had a Neighborhood Watch (NW) program, which over time lost members and eventually dissolved. The information usually flowed only one way and wasn’t consistent. With an uptick in burglaries in early 2010, the SRCA recognized that the old style of NW—police feeding information to a great number of block captains who then passed along the information to individual members would not work for very long as it was not efficient. Some residents wanted to get information but didn’t have a block captain and they felt left out.

The SRCA streamlined the organizational structure and communications process so that the SDPD communicates once directly with the NW Committee chair and advisor who then via email, Facebook, and Twitter can instantaneously communicate the information directly to each individual in the program. we eliminated steps and problems such as block captains moving, busy work and family lives, email address changes, and lack of follow-up. These were all problems that were identified as the reason NW ended in Scripps Ranch. The SRCANW program allows residents to receive and provide information with and without having a block captain.

The SRCA registered its program with the National Sheriff’s Association in 2010, and National Association of Town Watch in 2022.

In four years, more than 2,400 email addresses and contact information has been registered with the SRCANW for the 12,500 homes, approximately 33,000 residents. In 2024, we have 4000 emails in our system. The program has developed and fostered more than 90 block captains. The SRCANW is the largest in San Diego County and is constantly growing.

The SRCA funds our neighborhood watch program with a $3000 annual budget so there is no cost to join the SRCANW program.

How We Communicate with Residents
What is most remarkable about the SRCANW program is that the SDPD provides details of an incident or alert once to the community, and the SRCANW disseminates it to thousands of residents in mere moments. Residents don’t have to log in to a website; they simply receive an email to their computer or phone. We use Constant Contact email service and comply with all spam regulations. We DO NOT sell, disclose, publish or share your contact information!

When starting in May 2010, the SRCA board members sent out emails to friends in the community. The emails were sent out 30 at a time, as that was the limit AOL placed on the number of recipients per email. It was time consuming! On November 2, 2010, the SRCANW started using Constant Contacts subscription service. Since then the SRCANW has released 150 emails called “e-blasts.” The SRCANW averages 4,500 recipients per e-blast, which translates into a total of 262,500 individual emails sent since the program started!

The SRCANW receives information from the SDPD’s electronic e-watch system, as well as residents in the community. Based on the type of incident, the SRCANW chair and advisor request additional information about the reported crime. As a general rule, the SRCANW releases an e-blast on every residential burglary. An e-blast comes with an explanation of the incident, as provided by police, and often tips on how not to be the next victim which you don’t get anywhere else then with the SRCA.

We also send out e-blasts about suspects casing homes, those posing as utility workers, sexual predators, indecent exposures, and possible assault incidents. Each holiday season, we send e-blasts with tips on how to keep children safe while out shopping with them, as furnished by the Missing and Exploited Children organization.

If there is a serious injury or death in a vehicle accident, an e-blast goes out. E-blasts also have gone out about gift card scams, magazine sales scams, aggressive solicitors, vacant homes for sale being used for parties, gun buy-back programs, prescription drug disposal, recycling theft suspects and termite fumigation burglaries. The more popular e-blasts include video links about photocopier fraud, how to open a garage door in six seconds, and forcible residential burglary entries.

Neighborhood Watch Effectiveness in Combating Crime
To illustrate how well the e-blast program works, there was a theft of a delivered package. The resident reported the crime to other neighbors as a robbery. The SRCANW asked the SDPD for verification of the robbery, which was really a theft. The homeowner/victim had a videotape surveillance system, which captured the suspects stealing the package and putting it in the back of a commercial refrigerator truck. The police contacted the business about solicitation without a permit and the theft. Based on the lack of cooperation by the business, the SDPD released the information to SRCANW to broadcast in an e-blast. SRCANW members began calling the SDPD with up-to-the-minute sightings of the truck in the community. The community relations officer radioed patrol officers on where to find the suspects, who were arrested and prosecuted for the theft. After this event, SDPD Detectives began asking SRCANW for assistance.

Neighborhood Watch Communication Verification Process
To illustrate the value of the neighborhood watch program for integrity, there was an incident of a known sexual predator that was seen exposing himself at a park. Parents of a sports league quickly put out a picture, description, and information about a person of interest from the Megan’s Law website. A young girl reportedly saw the suspect and before the police detectives could interview her and show her a photo line-up, the email about the person of interest had made its rounds in the community.

Once the email made it to us; we send it to SDPD and requested information. SDPD provided details for dissemination by SRCANW but without the person of interest’s name and photo so as to not to taint the witness’s recollection. Unfortunately, the person of interest was not arrested or prosecuted. It was a hard lesson for the community to learn but it brought additional credibility to the neighborhood watch program that information about criminal incidents should be verified before being disseminated.

Benefits to SDPD
Additionally, residents who are interested in a particular incident don’t have to contact the SDPD. Instead, residents email the SRCANW who in turn requests the information from SDPD, unless the information was already been given to us. Often, there are multiple resident inquiries about the same incident. The information from SDPD then can be easily disseminated widely without extra manpower and expense by police. Furthermore, the SDPD doesn’t have to manage a database or pay for the Constant Contacts email service, thus there is no demand on their computer systems. This program saves the SDPD money and time.

As the City of San Diego is a large organization, the neighborhood watch program personally assists residents with crime-related matters such as noise, littering, prostitution, and underage drinking issues. We use contacts within the SDPD with whom they have an ongoing working relationship to solve problems, again saving SDPD time and money.

National Night Out and Block Parties
The SRCANW hosted National Night Out for the past 14 years, where there are more than 40 block parties each year. The SDPD, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, local leaders, and elected officials visit the block parties during this event. Children love the police cars and fire engines! Criminals hate involved residents.

The neighborhood watch program hosts block parties throughout the year and an annual meeting to educate NW members about the importance of being aware, knowing how to report suspicious activities, and knowing crime terminology. We have developed a suspect identification sheet for residents to use for reporting crimes, so that they know what to include in a description of a suspect and/or vehicle when providing such information to the emergency dispatcher or responding officer. Using this form helps ensure a faster, more accurate physical description. It also serves as a valuable tool for memory recollection if called to testify.

Cooperation with Other NW Programs and SRCANW Model Worth Reproducing
There is another large NW program in Rancho Bernardo, another City of San Diego community. It uses a top heavy multi-tiered organizational structure developed for NW years ago. That program relies on several people to act in order for information to eventually reach the individual residents. The SRCANW program streamlined the system. Prior to 2022, two other San Diego communities—Mira Mesa and Ranch Penasquitos—used the SRCANW program as a model to begin their own NW programs. In 2022, we were asked to assist residents of Sabre Springs to organize and manage a neighborhood watch program and in 2024, asked by residents of Carmel Mountain Ranch to do the same.

“Boris NW” Signs as Deterrence
To encourage residents to participate and demonstrate the preventative value of the “Boris NW” signs, the SRCANW made an upfront purchase of more than 100 NW metal laminated signs at a 15% discount, which we passed along to participating block groups.

The SRCANW program is effective, efficient, and a “force multiplier” for not only the San Diego Police Department, but also the city and county.

How to Join Neighborhood Watch in Scripps Ranch, Carmel Mountain Ranch and Sabre Springs
If you have any questions or suggestions, please email us at [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].

The SRCA Neighborhood Watch Program is registered with the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and National Neighborhood Watch – a Division of the National Sherrifs’ Association (NSA)

Rick Moreno and Whitney Southwick produce SR related podcasts from Hunters of Hendrix Coffee shop.  The November 2022 episode features SDPD Northeastern Division Captain Mike Holden and SRCA Neighborhood Watch.

Another Successful National Night Out, Scripps Ranch Style – 2017

National Night Out 2017