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KEEPING WATCH

Del Webb residents patrol own streets

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KEEPING WATCH

Del Webb neighborhood watch members at left, Janie McIntyre and Liz Oliveres go through the food line Tuesday night across from their clubhouse with Harleen Bebout at right.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED August 7, 2013 2:04 a.m.

The Del Webb community of some 800 homes had a number of National Night Out celebrations Tuesday night, but the biggest of them all featured the “Second Chance” five-piece band playing aside the large gazebo in a park near the Airport Way entrance.

Nearly a dozen couples had driven their golf carts from their homes and parked them along the walkway leading to the celebration that drew about 150 residents and several barbecues.  There was no shortage of home cooked meals for the Del Webb family of neighbors to enjoy.

Aside from front yard festivities, about 15 Neighborhood Watch members met across from the main clubhouse behind the ball diamond.  They included Woodbridge Neighborhood Watch patrol commander Bob Hall and Captain Barbara Silva. She’s one of more than 50 block captains in the community.

Neighborhood Watch volunteers patrol the Del Webb streets late into the night in two cars with high profile amber lights atop their vehicles and a magnetic Neighborhood Watch sign on their car doors. 

Silva noted that the group members are also part of the community “meet and greet” to visit new homeowners moving into Del Webb.  The newcomers fill out forms with their basic information for contact purposes and are given an orientation of how the homeowners work together to protect each other. Basically what the Neighborhood Watch does is to provide a safety net for friends and neighbors, Silva added.

She noted that the community also has numerous security cameras and license plate cameras to collect evidence for the police, if necessary. 

Debby Hickey chimed in, saying she is the only woman among a lot of men patrolling the neighborhood streets at night.  

“In a nutshell, it’s prevention not confrontation.  It’s the presence of driving around very slowly,” she said.  “We have neighbors helping neighbors.”

In one instance she and her partner located a truck of non-residents with their personal patrol vehicles clearly marked late one night. 

“They peeled out apparently thinking we were the police,” she said.  “As a result we found another car nearby with a couple in the back seat, completely naked when we shined our flash lights on them.  They were very polite and we kept the light on them so they could get dressed and then we told them to leave and not to come back.”

Another Neighborhood Watch member and former police officer Ed Shupe said he was excited about the participation held at the west end of the Del Webb Park, saying it was double that of last year. It noted is was possibly because they had the added attraction of the Second Chance Band. 

Resident, Vickie Conner, told of having surgery two years ago and was in awe by the response from her neighbors. 

“They were all coming by and checking on me and bringing so much food to fill my needs,” she said. 

She also noted there are medical supplies in excess, wheelchairs, and walkers that get shared constantly between the neighbors.

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