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Crime and homelessness in old town Nipomo leads to residents forming a neighborhood watch

Posted at 11:42 PM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 02:42:07-04

People in Nipomo fed up with crime organized a neighborhood watch meeting and they were able to voice their concerns to the their supervisor and deputy from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office.

Some residents living in old town Nipomo say they've been seeing crime happen in front of their homes and even at their businesses.

The Mayor's Place, which hosted the meeting, was a victim of burglary just weeks ago.

A big topic of conversation for residents was homelessness in the area.

"Homeless does bring, can bring, various elements to it. There are people with those elements that you tend to commonly see drugs, alcohol and basic health," said Bryan Galvin, Nipomo resident.

More residents showed up than expected after seeing the meeting posted online, showing there's interest in creating a neighborhood watch group in the community.

"We had a citizen that was concerned, was new to town, and she wanted to get some people together and form a neighborhood watch group," said Lynn Compton, San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisor.

A San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputy told the audience crime in Nipomo has slightly fallen from 18 months ago and that it fluctuates throughout the year, with winter time usually seeing a decrease in crime due to the cold weather and people tend to be busier than in summer.

Supervisor Compton says it would be helpful if residents formed a neighborhood watch group to keep an eye out for crime.

"It's best if you can watch too. We need eyes out there looking. We're a distance away from the sub-station down here which is in Oceano. So if there is a crime going on by the time someone gets here, sometimes it's too late," said Compton."

Residents also learned the best ways to call law enforcement for help.

"I helped communicate to residents how to get in contact with law enforcement and when it's appropriate and when it's okay to do so. So for people who may not have been comfortable in the past that the information that they put out in the night could be helpful," said Galvin.

Supervisor Compton says if more people in the community are interested, she would look into hosting a future town hall meeting for residents to voice their concerns about crime and homelessness in the area.