A Blockwatcher is a concerned citizen who OBSERVES and REPORTS emergency situations in their neighborhood. The emergency can range from a serious motor vehicle accident, fire explosion, or major disturbance to any criminal act.
Blockwatchers are not encouraged to become actively involved in the apprehension of a criminal.
Blockwatchers elect their own association officers who preside over meetings and maintain a liaison with the Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit. Meetings with association members and/or representatives of the Police Department are convened at the the pleasure of the association members.
Yonkers Police Blockwatcher Program - How It Works
The Blockwatchers are given an identification number which they use when reporting an emergency condition. The Communications Division of the Yonkers Police Department will then take appropriate measures as prescribed by Department procedures.
Identification of the Blockwatcher will be known only to the Commanding Officer of the Crime Prevention Unit and, in an emergency situation, the Public Safety Dispatcher. The Commanding Officer will maintain a file containing all Blockwatchers Association members. the officers assigned to respond to an emergency condition will not know the identify of the Blockwatcher reporting the emergency condition. The procedure is used to protect the anonymity of the Blockwatcher.
Training sessions are scheduled by the Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit and the Office for the Aging. Training sessions will include instructions on what every Blockwatcher should be alert to, how to describe and emergency situation, and how to report the conditions to the appropriate authority.
Blockwatchers are given two police telephone numbers. the 911 number will be used ONLY for emergency situations where police must respond as quickly as possible. The 377-7900 number will be used for all other non-emergency police business.
Police Tips - How to Give a Description
Important rules on giving descriptions:
1. Be systematic. Look suspects over from head to foot. Compare him with yourself (is he taller, shorter, heavier, older.) Mentally note as many details as you can.
2. Don't trust your memory for too long. Write down everything you know as soon as possible.
3. Practice describing people and vehicles you observe. Learn nearby addresses. This can help you outline details vital to the police in the event an incident occurs.
Description of locations:
1. Give exact address if known : street, number, floor, apartment number.
2. If you don't know the exact address, use landmarks and compass points, if possible.
Description of people:
1. Sex: Male, Female
2. Race: White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, etc.
4. Height: try estimating in 2 inch blocks (for example, between 5' 8" and 5' 10")
5. Approximate age
6. Weight: estimating in blocks of ten pounds
7. Build: large, medium, small, stocky, fat, thin
8. Hair: color, length, straight, curly, thick, balding or thin, sideburns
9. Facial hair: clean shaven, stubble, mustache, beard
10. Distinguishing features on parts of body: tattoos, scars, etc.
11. Clothing: type, color, and style of hat, eyeglasses, coat, shirt, pants, shoes
12. Weapons involved: shotgun or rifle, handgun, knife, razor, club, etc.
Description of vehicles:
1. Make and year: if year is unknown, estimate late model or old
3. Body type: sedan, two door, convertible, mini-van, van, truck, jeep-like, etc.
4. License number: specify state
5. Exterior attachments or damage
6. Direction of travel: what street is it on, what cross street is it approaching
7. Number of occupants and their descriptions
Emergency Conditions CALL 911
These are some incidents that qualify as emergencies:
- Serious motor vehicle accident
- Fire Officer in need of assistance
- Gas odor
- Explosives Serious injury
- Burglary (in progress)
- Gun shots
Non-Emergency Conditions CALL 377-7900
These are some incidents that usually do not qualify as emergencies:
- Traffic-parking violations
- Sanitation complaints
- Loud noise ( but not suspicious)
- Disorderly children
- Road defects
- Street light out
Blockwatchers Program (.pdf format)