Protect Your Home and Neighborhood

Rallies planned for National Night Out

They're not taking it anymore.

Tens of thousands of people across the Bay area will take to the streets tonight. They will be rallying as part of National Take Back The Night events.

The marches are designed as a way for neighbors to show solidarity against violence. That solidarity is becoming increasingly important as police patrols are pared back because of budget cuts.

That is especially true in Oakland. A tenth of the police force is now off the streets in one of the country's historically crime-ridden communities.

Daniel Tran was a victim. He was robbed several times in the last 12 months but the Oakland man didn't let a gun in his face scare him into a shell. Instead, Tran is taking a leading role in taking back his neighborhood -- he's a block commander for his neighborhood watch.

Tran suggests protecting yourself by phoning ahead if you're going to be home late; leaving a porch light on; and honking in order to scare away anyone who might be lurking around your door.

The National Crime Prevention Council recommends putting together a checklist that includes your neighbors' cars and kids so you can notice if someone who doesn't belong is roaming the neighborhood; organize a community day where you all trim back bushes and shrubs; meet with local firefighters and police officers; and create community pride celebrations to show off all the good in the neighborhood.

The NCPC says setting up a neighborhood watch in your town can be done in two simple steps. They are outlined on their website.

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