Since Colonia Bar 4 began their neighborhood watch program only weeks ago, the neighborhood as already seen crime drop.
The city of San Juan helped residents by installing neighborhood watch signs and training residents on how to manage the program in their barrio. The city will also help the neighborhood establish a person in charge of the program to communicate between neighborhood residents and city police.
While the program is already proving to be an important preventative measure, the community sees the next major step against crime to be the installation of streetlights. Residents say that the cover of darkness the neighborhood offers at night attracts people who are up to no good.
While the colonia is around 20 years old, the city incorporated the colonia about 10 years ago. That means that residents have been paying the city for the past 10 years without receiving streetlights. Past city governments have promised city services, but have not followed through on their promises. This year’s city government is the first government to take serious steps toward providing lights for Bar 4 residents.
City officials will have a meeting with the community in order to let them know the process, which will include signing permission for city workers to enter the residents’ property to install the wiring necessary for installation.
Residents are seeing clearly the results of organizing with LUPE. With each improvement, residents are more animated to continue in the process.