USA Onwatch Newsletter

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In The Headlines

Harnessing the Power of Technology 

Nowadays, portable electronic devices such as smart phones, DVD players, and laptops are fragmenting a formerly cohesive audience, requiring crime prevention organizations to adopt multi-targeted approaches in order to reach individual segments of the community. “Whenever a group holds a Neighborhood Watch meeting, we send an officer. People are on social media now, so we have to have a presence there,” explained Mark Economou, public information officer for the Boca Raton Police Services Department. “The bottom line is, when you’re on the computer late at night checking your Facebook page, you’re not going to visit the police department’s website. We put information in front of your face so that you don’t have to go looking for it.”

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Supporting Articles 

Neighborhood Watch 2.0: Neighbors Twitter, Blog to Keep Criminals at Bay,” Meghan Barr, Huffington Post, August 11, 2009
Top Rated iPhone Apps for Cops, and the rest of us- You Will Want These!,” Mike Vallez,, September 12, 2010

Additional Information:

iWatch Dallas Program– A crime tipping program designed to appeal to young people and working parents who might be reluctant to use Crime Stoppers tipping programs. Tips to iWatch Dallas go directly to the Dallas PD Fusion Center to be relayed to the appropriate unit. They have also created a mobile app to go along with the program. To learn more about Dallas PD’s innovative iWatch program we encourage you to check out their website.

Treasury to Phase Out Paper Checks by 2013 – The Department of the Treasury recently announced it will phase out paper checks for Federal government benefits by March 1, 2013. This new rule will extend the safety and convenience of electronic payments to millions of Americans. People who do not have electronic payments for their federal benefits by that time will receive their funds via a pre-paid debit card. Called the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card, it is issued by Comerica Bank as the financial agent of the U.S. Treasury. To learn more about the Federal government’s switch to direct deposit or to change benefits to direct deposit, please visit Information about the federal government’s “Go Direct” campaign is also available at 1-800-333-1795.

HALF OF CHILDREN KILLED IN FIRES ARE UNDER AGE 5. USA Today (2/13, Sternberg) reports, “Children age 4 and younger, those least able to make their way to safety without help, account for roughly half of all childhood deaths and injuries suffered in fires,” according to a FEMA report set for release. FEMA and more than two-dozen other organizations have launched a national campaign to promote fire safety. The federal agency has posted safety tips and other information FEMA also is promoting a dialogue on Twitter, using the hashtag #kidsfiresafety

Important reminder! 45 Days Left to Register Your Citizen Corps Council or CERT Program
FEMA is asking all new and existing local Citizen Corps Councils and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Programs to register on the National Citizen Corps and CERT websites. This effort will recognize the tremendous work accomplished to date and serve as a baseline for future individual and community preparedness and resiliency projects. Every Citizen Corps Council and CERT Program is required to register if they wish to have a listing in the Citizen Corps and CERT directory on the National Citizen Corps and CERT Program websites. Please note that only Citizen Corps Councils and CERT Programs may register. The registry is not for individual CERT Teams that are organized within a CERT Program. More information and guidance documents for registration are available on the Councils and CERT Program registration support pages located at and

Upcoming events:

February 24 @ 1pm: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will host a Webinar on building sustainable organizations. Register online.

May 17-18: Neighborhood Watch Toolkit Training Traverse City, MI Register Online

June 20-22: National Institute of Justice(NIJ) annual conference in Arlington, Virginia will bring together criminal justice scholars, policymakers, and practitioners at the local, state, and federal levels to share the most recent findings form research and technology.

USAonwatch through Neighborhood Watch empowers citizens in ourcommunities with the opportunity to volunteer toward the safety of our homeland,

Resource of the Week

IACP Center for Social Media

Upcoming feature

Watch Group Profile- West of Wells

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About Jeff

Long time volunteer in the San Tan Valley/Queen Creek area of Arizona.

Posted on February 20, 2011, in In the news, National Sheriff's Association and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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