Deputy Director, Directorate of Emergency Services
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — The U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Directorate of Emergency Services is starting a new Neighborhood Watch Program for the military community in Hawaii.
The Army’s new iWatch program replaced the neighborhood or community watch programs in the early 2000s. The community awareness program — iWatch, iReport, iKeep us Safe — was created to educate the public about behaviors and activities that may have a connection to terrorism.
While iWatch was a good focus for the military community right after 9/11 and the advent of the Global War on Terrorism, DES has identified some gaps and needs that aren’t always fully met with iWatch.
This issue was staffed at the recent Army Family Action Plan Conference, as well, resulting in the reimplementation of the Neighborhood Watch Program to better serve the Army’s communities in Hawaii.
With iWatch focusing on terrorism and force protection and the Neighborhood Watch focusing on the criminal issues in the community, DES believes that it can better serve the military community with a comprehensive package of services and products that addresses both challenges in today’s rapidly evolving world.
Area North police, out of Schofield Barracks, and Area South police, out of Fort Shafter, will fully participate in the joint program and provide a full-time community-oriented policing officer in each area. This COP officer will be engaged in coordinating, developing and educating the military community to form classic Neighborhood Watch groups.
Through the COP officer, DES will work with and support the Neighborhood Watch groups in special events, such as National Night Out and block parties, and personal security education seminars and classes.
Caring members of the community who take a vested interest in the security of their neighborhood form these neighborhood groups that are critical to the program. It’s important that the community participates in this vital program.
The citizens of the neighborhood support and energize the community program. DES can support, assist and educate, but to be successful, the community will need to fully engage and invest time and energy in the process.
DES is excited about the opportunity to bring back this tried-and-true program to the community. DES believes that Neighborhood Watch provides the missing link between the community and the police force.
Working together, we can make a difference in the comfort level and impact of crime on our communities, and increase the level of security and public safety on our installations. Through this new partnership, you will find a safer and more secure community in which to work, live, shop and play.
We ask for your support in this worthwhile venture. There are challenges in our communities that none of us can fully address alone. However, working together as one team, we can make a significant impact in our quality of life.