SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – San Diego Police on Wednesday met with members of the newly formed neighborhood watch program in Ocean Beach.
Their goal was to teach volunteers how to properly make a “citizen’s arrest.”
Making a citizen’s arrest, as Ocean Beach Neighborhood Watch Zone Captain Isaac Darby learned, is not about taking matters into one’s own hands, but being a good witness.
“I thought, literally, we were going to learn arm bars and how to zip-tie somebody. It’s nice to know that you don’t have to physically confront somebody to do a citizen’s arrest. Most people think you have to detain somebody and that can be pretty dangerous,” said Darby.
Police strongly discouraged intervening if you see a crime in progress.
“You can follow them, but bottom line – don’t place yourself in danger. Your life is not worth whatever it may be,” said detective Bryan Roberts of the San Diego Police Department Graffiti Strike Force Unit.
During Wednesday night’s meeting, police explained to the Ocean Beach neighborhood watch that a citizen’s arrest is simply being a witness – a witness that calls and tells police you want to make a citizen’s arrest and is willing to testify in court.
Police recommend that if you see a crime in progress, including a tagger spraying graffiti, call 911 to report it.
You can report graffiti through the City of San Diego’s “Spray and Pay” program offers up to a $500 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. You can also report on the “Get It Done” app.