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TAKING a cue from the highly successful Neighborhood Watch program, businesses in the San Fernando Valley, the cities of San Fernando, Burbank and Glendale are joining forces to crack down on crime.

The Business Watch group is a great idea that will help improve safety in and near the businesses that participate. A safer climate, free of prostitutes, petty thieves and panhandlers, and devoid of graffiti will attract more customers.

The latest Business Watch program, organized by the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, is based on one set up six years ago on Sepulveda Boulevard. That group, which has grown to 400 members, painted curbs red to deter cars from stopping to pick up prostitutes, cleaned up buildings and improved landscaping.

Along the way, the business owners have formed relationships with police officers, who have instructed the merchants on when to call 911 and how to assist in the apprehension of crooks. Recently, a fledgling group in Glendale helped capture a janitor accused of stealing computers.

This program proves we're all here to make the city safer, businesses flourish, tourists feel comfortable as they see the town and residents be unafraid to walk to the corner store at all times of the day.

We urge more business owners to consider joining an existing watch group or forming their own. For information, call the Economic Alliance at (818) 947-0709.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Daily News
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Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jul 12, 1999
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