Community Patrol Guidelines
Thank you for volunteering to serve on the Community Patrol. Please review these instructions before your week of service and feel free to suggest any improvements after your service is completed.
The purpose of our patrol is to deter acts of mischief in the subdivision thru the visibility gained by a flashing light and signs mounted on a car. While you will patrol for only 2 nights during your week of service, you are asked to leave the equipment on your car for the entire week, park in a visible place and drive that care wherever you go. This visibility principle works for us. The Sheriff's Department reports that we have the best community watch program in the county and that, thanks to this program, we have a much lower crime rate than that experience by other developments in the county.
The Community Patrol chairperson is responsible for equipment maintenance, record keeping, resolution of problems and general administration. The Scheduler solicits volunteers for service and prepares appropriate schedules on a quarterly basis starting in July of each year.
The patrol operates on a yearly basis with two people per week from March 1 to December 31 and one person per week during January and February. Volunteers serve for one week only and are asked to patrol on at least two nights during that week for 3-4 hours each night. Names and contact info for everyone serving during each 13 week quarter are entered on a schedule, a copy of the schedule, along with these instructions, is then delivered to each volunteer.
Getting Ready for Patrol
On or before the Sunday starting your week of duty, one of the previous week's volunteers will deliver all of the equipment involved including a flashing car-top light (w/charger), two (2) magnetic car-door signs, a radio (w/charger), a list of houses currently vacant in the subdivision and a log for recording info. (Note Once you have completed your week of patrol duty, it is your responsibility to deliver this equipment to your successor as noted on the schedule.)
Once you have received the above equipment, use the following checklist in preparing for your patrol.
- The car-top light mounts magnetically and operates from a self-contained rechargeable battery; to operate it, just turn it on. (Note DO NOT charge the light's battery unless it needs it; overcharging can damage the unit.)
- Clean you car's doors and mount the two magnetic signs.
- Charge up the radio overnight and mount the magnetic antenna on top of your car running the antenna lead thru a window (be sure to familiarize yourself with the operation of the radio before attempting to use it).
Just prior to starting your patrol you should:
Do not take a gun with you under any circumstances!
The following are some pointers to guide you during your patrols:
Our radios are simple, fixed frequency, FM "repeater" type units equipped with a push-to-talk microphone, a two position channel selector switch, and a combination on/off volume control switch. To operate, turn the radio on, adjust the volume and push the microphone switch to transmit; be sure to charge the battery before using it.
Channel #1 is used only for communications between out tow radios when two cars are patrolling at once; Channel #2 is used for talking with the Sheriff's Department. When transmitting between cars, use the designations "car 1" or "car 2" as appropriate; when communicating with the Sheriff, use the call sign "Haywood Knolls 496."
The following pointers will help guide you in your use of the radio:
Contact the Sheriff's Department by radio only when reporting an emergency which requires immediate action.
Before using the radio, listen carefully to ensure that the frequency is clear. Do not transmit when you hear the code "10-3;" this means that the frequency must be kept clear for an emergency. Report problems by telephone in this instance.
After pushing the microphone switch, wait a couple of seconds to activate the repeater and then talk slowly and distinctly in a normal volume. Think about what you want to say ahead of them and then be brief. Don't shout!
The red light is an indication that you are transmitting; you must release the microphone button to receive incoming transmissions.
Turn the radio off after each patrol and recharge the battery overnight before using it again; unlike the light, the battery can't be damaged by overcharging.
Transmission originated by the Sheriff will use the "10" code - a set of numbers representing standard phrases. You are also encouraged to use them as follows:
There are four pieces of documentation to be concerned with:
the quarterly schedule
the "vacant house" sheets
the patrol log
The schedule and instructions are self-explanatory and don't need further explanation here. The use of the vacant house sheets should also be evident. It is the responsibility of individual homeowners to obtain a blank form from the Patrol Chairperson and return the completed form to him/her. When such forms are received by the Chairperson, he/she will deliver them to the current patroller(s), who will then check the house as requested until the homeowner returns. After the homeowner has returned from his/her trip, the current patroller should mark the form appropriately and deliver it to the Chairperson.
The patrol log should be used to record:
the date/time of your patrol tours
any unusual incidences
You should sign the log before delivering to your successor. The log sheets are periodically removed by the Chairperson as convenient.
That's it. You are now an expert.
PURPOSE IS VISIBILITY, NOT CONFRONTATION
DO NOT STOP OR CONFRONT ANY PERSON OR VEHICLE!