This is the blog for Robert Vincent, Chief of Police for the Gulfport (Florida) Police Department. Please feel free to leave comments, but keep in mind that anything appearing on this page may be subject to retention and disclosure in accordance with Florida public records law.

Please keep your posts clean and respectful. Comments are subject to review, and I do not permit lewdness, obscenity, or personal attacks.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Why is Neighborhood Watch Important to YOU?

Today is today.  Today we do not live as we did yesterday, last week, last year, five years ago or twenty years ago.  Our lives and the way we live change by the minute.  No longer can we just sit and wait for something to happen good, or bad. Everyone, you included, has a responsibility to keep the community safe.

Bad things happen everywhere, and Gulfport is no exception. Every day in our town, people are victims of theft, burglary, scams & frauds, and other crimes of opportunity. The truth is, however, most of these things go completely unnoticed by the majority of people. Gulfport is a small and close-knit community, and our police do a great job of making people feel safe. That sense of safety is certainly welcome, but it can be exploited by those with bad intentions.

Not only common thieves, but even organized criminals and terrorist groups specifically target such communities. They feel as though they can work in relative anonymity, shielded by the ambivalence of most residents. In order to fight this threat, the community must work together in its effort.

Neighborhood watch is what brings us together. In simple terms, it’s about looking out for ourselves and others.  Participants learn to always be on guard for any sign of suspicious activity, problems, people and things that just do not seem right. Our members come together to talk about what is happening, what is different, and what is changing. Everyone comes together to learn about and from each other.  The more we know, the more we can be prepared to handle the rapidly changing times we live in.

This concept of “watching and sharing” may be new for many, and change is often unwelcome. This, however, is change that we can control and use to make our lives better, safer and stronger. Neighborhood watch is not a social club, but a gathering of citizens, residents and most importantly, you.  You can make the difference in what happens to you and others. Please join your friends and neighbors, come out and share, learn and get involved.

It’s your community. 

Contact Jim Wright, Volunteer Coordinator