The new sign. Inspired by Shepard Fairey?
  • The new sign. Inspired by Shepard Fairey?
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Due to an escalation of criminal and suspicious activity in Clairemont, there has been renewed interest in Neighborhood Watch, a nationwide program introduced by the National Sheriff’s Association in 1972.

Holly Tafoya

A press conference was held Thursday, July 2, in Clairemont with councilman Chris Cates and several police officers, including Holly Tafoya, the community liason officer for the Clairemont and Bay Ho areas.

Signup sheets were available for those wanting to participate in the program as captain of their block. Less than ten people signed up.

Out with the old...

Officer Tafoya said that each neighborhood with an active program gets two of the available 96 signs. The signs, which have an updated graphic in blue and white — as compared with the orange signs from the 1970s — are poly-coated for anti-graffiti protection. Tafoya agreed that neighborhoods with apartments and condominiums might require a co-captain for each complex.

People who signed up to be block captains were told they’d be contacted by someone from the city. The next step is to coordinate a kick-off meeting with neighbors, Officer Tafoya, and a Neighborhood Watch coordinator. Following the meeting and approval, the signs will then be awarded to participating blocks.

However, it is the responsibility of each neighborhood to pool resources for the purchase of the signs as well as to do the actual posting of them. This may be up to $350.

Tafoya said that each neighborhood gets to choose where they install the signs. Street light poles and street signs with perforated metal poles are permitted with some restrictions in regards to placement.

To get started in Clairemont or Bay Ho, contact officer Holly Tafoya at the SDPD Northern Division (858-552-1703; [email protected]) or contact the Neighborhood Watch coordinator through your town council (Clairemont's Town Council: [email protected]). For those in other areas, you can also contact the SDPD area stations nearest you:

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AlexClarke July 5, 2015 @ 6:55 a.m.

The best security system I ever had was the elderly couple across the street who loved to sit at their living room window and watch the neighborhood activity. I would get a full report of all activity at my house when I was gone. They were the essence of Neighborhood Watch. It is important to know your neighbors record descriptions of people and cars and license plates. Many crimes have been solved because someone wrote down a license plate or a description of a vehicle or person. Emmett is correct neighbors need to get involved.


Julie Stalmer July 5, 2015 @ 4:06 p.m.

That is very true. If everyone pays a little more attention, it can do wonders. When I managed a jewelry store, I asked security to write down every license plate and descriptions of what he saw. Just in case.


Visduh July 6, 2015 @ 9:34 a.m.

Those programs too often start and end with the organizational meeting. It's the followup that makes or breaks the effectiveness. And you have to have people at home who pay some attention to the activity in the 'hood. So Cal is so anonymous in many ways that people soon conclude that everything is transitory, and that there's no point in knowing your area of town. The signs are known by most of the breaking and entering crowd as an empty threat. In fact, if all the sign means is that a sign was posted, a burglar could take it as a good sign for apathy and lack of awareness. I have had personal unpleasant experience with the lack of effect of signs and window decals for neighborhood watch.


Julie Stalmer July 6, 2015 @ 11:28 a.m.

I agree. I would much rather be proactive instead of reactive. is a useful tool. I witnessed a suspect fleeing the shopping center this morning and posted a description in real time so that if anyone sees him, they can call the police.

It's unfortunate that a lot of people aren't very concerned until they are a victim of crime. If everyone in a neighborhood pays a little better attention, it can do wonders.


Julie Stalmer July 6, 2015 @ 10:32 a.m.

On the way to drop off library books this morning at 9:23 AM, I witnessed an Hispanic male in his 30s with a shaved head running like the wind out of the Clairemont Village parking lot north on Cowley Way toward Iroquois. I then saw him cross the street and go down the long flight of stairs into the Tecolote Terrace condominium complex at 2929 Cowley Way.

The Tecolote Canyon seems to be a favorite getaway for criminals to escape down Mt. Acadia Blvd below.

The suspect was average build, 5'7"-5'8" and wearing a blue flannel unbuttoned shirt over another shirt. I saw what I thought were tattoos on the right side of his face.

I saw some employees from Keil's Grocery Store chasing him as I heard an alarm of some sort. After letting them know where he had gone, they supposed he had escaped to the canyon and would alert their head of security.

I think this may be one of the brothers that a neighbor told me about yesterday. He said that two brothers just got out on parole and they were back in the neighborhood. He also said they are very bad news and unstable mentally.

I wasn't able to get a photo because I was trying to get Kiel's employees attention to tell them where the suspect had gone.

Everyone, please keep an eye out. If you see him, please call the police. And if to aren't already, please join NEXTDOOR so you can know when things are going on in your neighborhood in real time. I posted this already on NEXTDOOR.


shirleyberan July 6, 2015 @ 12:01 p.m.

Julie - Hope you have a nearby police station and can notify of the incidents and detail.


Julie Stalmer July 6, 2015 @ 12:04 p.m.

I always do. In this cause, the store called the police.


Twister July 6, 2015 @ 9:07 p.m.

It's a good idea to get rid of the "masked bandit" logo, which, far from discouraging crime actually adds to the "pride" factor in the criminal mind. I want to scream at the moon every time the news anchors and others refer to terrorist nerds as "Lone Wolfs," which feeds the ego of the twisted minds. Dumb anuses!


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