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Ventura County Roundup | OXNARD

Revived Watch Patrol Sought for La Colonia

May 03, 1999|PAULA PISANI

Members of the Coalition for Community Development Inc. in La Colonia are pleased that the crime rate apparently has decreased in their neighborhood, and they want to keep it that way. So they are working to resurrect their Neighborhood Watch patrol.

There was a watch program once, said Vicky Gonzales, coordinator for the coalition. But many of the original members dropped out, and "we want to rejuvenate it with new people, new blood."

The coalition is planning to go door-to-door to encourage residents to volunteer for the patrol.

"We want to use Neighborhood Watch as a preventive measure and get people involved in their community," Gonzales said. "We're not looking to go out to patrol now, but to show residents that keeping an eye on your neighbors and immediate surroundings helps reduce crime and other problems."

Gonzales said statistics show at least 12,000 people live in La Colonia, which is bounded by Camino Del Sol, Rose Avenue, 5th Street and Oxnard Boulevard. And while crime statistics are not broken down by neighborhoods, according to the Oxnard Police Department, crimes per 1,000 residents citywide dropped from 68.2 in 1992 to 40 in 1998.

Gonzales said she has seen a dramatic decline in crime in her neighborhood.

But at recent neighborhood revitalization meetings, residents had some complaints, particularly about public drinking and houses where drugs are dealt.

"We want to show that if you do have a drug house on your street, you can do something and remain anonymous," Gonzales said. "It's all confidential."

For watch patrol information, call 385-7977.

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