by Helen Gao
City Heights residents who want to be kept up to date on criminal activity in their neighborhood can take advantage of a free email service from the San Diego Police Department.
The police department offers a program called Neighborhood eWatch, which sends email alerts to subscribers to let them know about recent crime in their area.
“This free subscription service acts as a “cyber” neighborhood watch, providing citizens with information to help reduce crime in their neighborhoods,” the police department said on its website. Another goal of the program is to increase interaction between neighbors and the police.
It takes only a few simple steps to subscribe. Visit http://apps.sandiego.gov/ewatch. First, you are prompted to enter an address or a street intersection, such as the location of your home or workplace. Up to three addresses within the boundaries of the City of San Diego may be entered, but you need to subscribe separately for each address. Other cities in the county are not included in the program.
Next you are asked to define an area of interest that’s within a certain radius of your address or street intersection.
Finally, you are asked to check off boxes to select the types of crime that you want to be notified of. Seventeen categories of crime, everything from prostitution and robberies to murders and auto thefts, are listed. Instead of choosing to be alerted to certain types of crime, you can check off a single box to be alerted to all criminal activity in your area.
Once the form is complete, you will get to preview a map showing your defined area of interest. An email confirming your subscription should arrive within 24 hours. If you do not receive confirmation after 24 hours, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.