March 2, 2018
Crime Prevention Program
Gila River Indian News
Thanks for taking the time to read the Chemical Tribal Emergency Response Commission’s (C-TERC) article on the “Safe Neighbor” crime prevention program, written by Gila River Police Department.
We have chosen to utilize a “Safe Neighbor” program to report “Suspicious Activity.
What is considered suspicious activity? Anything observed that is out of the normal routine for the members of the Gila River Indian Community.
• Tanker truck backed up to a wash? Make a “Safe Neighbor” call.
• Unknown vehicle circling the neighborhood? Make a “Safe Neighbor” call.
• Truck full of trash driving towards a desert area? Make a “Safe Neighbor” call.
• People arguing in your neighborhood? Make a “Safe Neighbor” call.
• Gunfire on the community? Make a “Safe Neighbor” call.
The “Safe Neighbor” program can be successful because of the unique factors found here in the Gila River Indian Community.
The first of these factors is the community itself. Many of the members here have spent most of their lives within the community. No one knows better when something doesn’t belong than the person who is in that area every day. So if every day your neighbor goes to work at 8 am and there is not usually a vehicle at their house, but today a pick-up truck is backed up to your neighbors front door, you know that is not normal. Utilize the "Safe Neighbor" program by calling the Gila River Police Department to let them know something isn’t right.
The second is the boundaries of the community. The boundaries allow Community Members to exercise their sovereignty. As such, when a community member sees someone inside the borders of Gila River, they have the right to know if that person has legitimate business within the community. Since no one expects our community members to actively confront people who appear out of place, we are encouraging the use of "Safe Neighbor". If you see someone in an area where you don’t think they belong, call the Gila River Police Department to let them know.
The third and final portion of "Safe Neighbor" is the commitment of the Gila River Indian Community Tribal Government to protect the rights and sovereignty of all citizens of the Gila River Indian Community. If you do not wish to be involved, you don’t have to be. All callers can remain anonymous, but still provide information about suspicious activity. This information does not have to be given directly to the Police Department. If a citizen of the Gila River Indian Community reports information to the Fire Department, Public Works, or Tribal Social Services the information will be relayed to the Police for investigation. Additionally, reporting activity to the District Service Center coordinator or District Council Member will also get the information passed onto law enforcement and corresponding agencies to ensure the safety of the entire community.
In closing, I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read about some of the Suspicious Activity you may encounter on a daily basis and how to report it. The bottom line is if something doesn’t seem right to you, it may not be.