Sandalwood Glen Neighborhood Watch program holds sign installation ceremony

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IMPERIAL  The Sandalwood Neighborhood Watch group and city of Imperial held a sign installation ceremony Wednesday, August 30, at the corner of Aten Road and Blazing Star in Imperial, according to a press release from the city of Imperial.

Surrounded by volunteers, Diana Salcido, president of the group, thanked the Imperial Police Department and ACME Sign Company for the generous donation and installation of the Neighborhood Watch Signs throughout the Sandalwood Glen Subdivision.

The Sandalwood Glenn Neighborhood Watch group was founded a year ago when their neighborhood experienced an increase in burglaries. They meet at the TL Wagoner School Cafeteria.

Gregory Pieros, a supervisional aide at TL Wagoner, thanked Principal Richard Ramos in a press release for facilitating the meetings.

“He went above and beyond, keeping the school open after hours so we would have a place to meet,” said Pieros.

Twenty-year resident Gregory Lee Johnston thanked Diana Salcido for taking the initiative to start the neighborhood watch group. “I’ve been a part of the group since the first meeting and on the second meeting, we unanimously voted Diana as the president. She’s done so much for the community and none of this would have happened without her starting it,” said Johnston.

A total of 17 signs were donated by the Imperial Police Department through “Public Relations and Community Policing” funding set aside in the city’s budget. The Imperial Police Department has been actively participating in the Sandalwood Glen Neighborhood Watch meetings.

Over the last eight months, the neighborhood has suffered an increase in burglaries, including mailbox thefts. Deputy Chief Mario Luna stated in the press release, “It is important that we maintain these relationships with our residents and create the partnership with our neighborhoods. Our officers can’t be everywhere at once, so having the residents be our eyes and ears is the key to keeping our community’s safe to live, work and play.”

Councilman Robert Amparano, a resident in the subdivision, thanked the Imperial Police Department, ACME Sign Company and the community volunteers in the press release for coming together on this project. “This is how we stay the number one safest city in the state of California. Communication between the officers and our residents is the best way to stay in front of the issues.”

Other residents and neighborhoods are encouraged to start neighborhood watch programs. Skyranch Subdivision in Imperial has already begun conversations with the Imperial Police Department and will begin participating in the Sandalwood Glen meetings to start things off. For more information about starting a neighborhood watch group, or to find out if there is one already in your area, please contact the Imperial Police department at (760) 355-4327.