Archive for Meeting Minutes

General Meeting April 1, 2013

Posted by Edward Dziuk

Officer Brandon Epperson gave an informative, helpful presentation on the anatomy of an effective PNP call at our April 2 Block Watch meeting. Since most of you were unable to attend, I thought I’d share the salient points here.

Observation skills are all about training and practice. The objective of the Phoenix Neighborhood Patrol program is to provide that training to enhance the effectiveness of watchful neighbors who are looking out for their neighbors and community safety. It is human nature to refer to ourselves as PNP’ers, but resisting that temptation will enhance our communication with Crime Stop or 911 operators. It’s important to recognize that whether we place a 911 or 601-262-6151 call we will talk to the same group of operators. Some of them don’t know what PNP is, but all will recognize the “Phoenix Neighborhood Patrol” moniker.

Communicating effectively about criminal activity is a learned skill, and the most important aspect is the ability to remain calm when every system in our body is urging us to fight or get the heck out of Dodge. It requires instinct to recognize something that shouldn’t be happening, and we can acquire that instinct with practice – nobody is born with it.

Working effectively with local police forces is dependent on our ability to observe and report suspicious activity. If we take a more active or interventionist role, the outcome is seldom favorable. If we are in a place where personal safety is a valid concern, it’s time to leave.

The most interesting and meaningful aspect of Brandon’s presentation was about the side effects and consequences of our PNP calls.

First, our objective is to call in the Cavalry. Responders are Officer’s who are connected to information resources so that they can accurately assess the situation, and are trained to minimize the inherent risk in contact with criminals.

Crime Stop and 911 operators are trained to slow excited and agitated callers down so that the correct response to a situation can be quickly implemented. They will ask a lot of questions that are designed to elicit accurate and relevant facts, and to keep callers engaged in the communication process.

The opportunity to intervene in criminal activity is very fleeting. If it takes 15 minutes for our sub-conscious to alert us to the fact that something isn’t right about a situation, the opportunity may well be gone.

When on observer succeeds in initiating a response, there are a lot of beneficial consequences. Criminals learn that there are better places to conduct their activities, and we initiate a long-term trend toward safer communities. Good news travels fast. The word goes out from reliable sources that our neighborhood isn’t ripe for the picking because people who care and aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves live here.

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