Neighborhood Guard going Non-profit!

Hi Friends of Neighborhood Guard.Neighborhood Guard Logo

We have been doing a lot of soul-searching here lately, and Wednesday evening the Interim Board of Neighborhood Guard unanimously decided to turn Neighborhood Guard into a 501(c)3 Non-profit instead of a COOP as originally planned.

Why this change?

  1. A non-profit is easier to understand when we explain it
  2. Tax deductible donations (Yeah!)
  3. Simpler bylaws, less accounting headaches.
  4. Closer spiritually to our core values of Community, Security and Volunteering.
  5. We had already agreed to stay out of politics (a requirement for 503(c)3 non-profits) Continue reading

Help get Crime fighting value from Code for Oakland

Code for USA has made Oakland one of the cities where they are helping this year.

Code For America Logo

Code For America works for you.

Oakland is soliciting feedback from its Citizens on which programming tasks they should assign to these young and talented programmers who have dedicated a year of they life to make Oakland better through software and Open source ?

There are 3 suggestions online that will hopefully help reduce the crime problem in Oakland, PLEASE vote all of them up NOW (click “I love it!” for each of them)

  1. Public Access to Stolen License plate Database.
  2. Map for Police only with Location of Private Security Cameras
  3. Online Suspicious Activity/person Filing

See the full subject on engage Oakland

Don’t Live in Oakland? vote anyway, the resulting code should be given out in Open source, and can benefit your city as well.

Is the 10 x more expensive Piedmont Cameras better?

City of Piedmont: 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611 | (510) 420-3040

The City of Piedmont, CA is sharing the same problems as the communities that has joined Neighborhood Guard: A high rate of burglaries and violent home invasions. Like the members of Neighborhood Guard they want to use modern Security Camera technology to aid solving crimes. But this is where the similarities end.

Tasked with getting a quote for a camera system the Piedmont Chief of Police came back with a  1.1 Million proposal, that does neither include Operations (power and Wireless fees) nor Installation. The proposal is for 57 cameras, which gives a per camera price of  $20,235 ! ($1,153,416 / 57 cameras).

Neighborhood Guard $2,200 per camera site
City of Piedmont      $20,235 per camera site

Why is Piedmont’s solution so more expensive than the Neighborhood Guard solution?

Is it the installation? No, while Neighborhood Guard is based on volunteer DIY installation, the Piedmont quote does NOT include installation which will be a considerable additional expense. Continue reading

OpenOakland and Neighborhood Guard.

Last night I met some very nice people from the OpenOakland Brigade of Code for America, these are grassroots who volunteer their time to solve our city’s problems through the use of technology, within their framework there is a group focused on reducing crime through volunteering and the use of technology. Basically our kind of people. Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

We at Neighborhood Guard want to be thankful for the resolve of our fellow neighbors here in Oakland, while all Oaklanders know about hardship we are also showing that Oakland will not surrender to crime. People of all backgrounds, social groups and skill sets are standing together united in Neighborhood Guard Continue reading

Minutes Nov 19. COOP Founding Meeting

Founding Meeting, Nov 19, 2012, Redwood Heights Recreation Center.
The founding meeting of the Oakland “Neighborhood Guard Cooperative” was held November 19, 2012 at Redwood Heights Recreation Center, 3883 Aliso Avenue, Oakland, CA between 6 pm and 8:30 pm. The meeting room was full, standing room only, with about 60 people attending. Co-op founder Jesper “JJ” Jurcenoks chaired the meeting, Moderated by Mary Kay Rusell of the Redwood Ridge Neighborhood organization and Max Horowitz, Minutes: Sandra Pohutsky

Oakland City Councilmember Libby Schaaf
Ms. Schaaf expressed her gratitude to the organizers who reacted to a tragic occasion in their neighborhood to make it safer and who are now sharing their experience in finding security solutions for the rest of Oakland. Ms. Schaaf said we are entering an era of crowd sourcing and are on the verge of creating networks that the Oakland Police Department could never accomplish. Ms. Schaaf reported that she knew of at least three cases in 2012 of Oakland Police Department arresting criminals using evidence from private security cameras; all were convicted.

Neighborhood Guard founder JJ Jurcenoks began with his local neighborhood watch group when one of his neighbors was brutally attacked at home. They vowed that they would work on a method to protect others by reducing the danger of criminals breaking into Oakland homes. For their neighborhood they set the goal that no Criminal would enter or leave their neighborhood undetected. Continue reading

1 week to Nov 19 meeting and things are heating up.

This weekend Mayor Jean Quan mentioned us in her Newsletter

Libby Schaaf in front of sign

Libby Schaaf with a Neighbor

Libby Schaaf, Oakland City Council member for District 4  and a strong supporter of all crime reduction initiatives, will be joining us on Nov 19 to share her view on Community Crime reduction.

We have been interviewed for the Montclarion so look out for an article by Maya Mirsky in the next edition (Friday Nov 16, 2012) Online version here.

This week we gave additional presentations to both large and small neighborhood ranging from 50 to 300 households.

We have additional presentations lined up for next week.

The list of neighborhood groups who: 1) has already joined, 2) are in the process of joining or 3) who are setting up organizations in preparation to join, contains more than 40 Neighborhoods all over Oakland, this is no longer just a Oakland Hills initiative. We have even more groups joining us every week.

We have received requests to show the Camera Presentation as part of our evening. Some groups have not yet had a chance to see the presentation, others have not seen the latest version. So we will start the evening with a short version of the Neighborhood Camera Presentation.

For the evening itself we need volunteers: We need someone to:

  1. Come a little early to help set up chairs
  2. Make sure everyone gets a name tag, and fills out the information sheet.
  3. But most important we need someone to bring home-baked goods like brownies and cookies to bring us all in a neighborly mood.

Here is the Updated Agenda for Nov 19.

  1. Introduction by Founder Jesper “JJ” Jurcenoks
  2. Importance of Community Action in Oakland, by Libby Schaaf
  3. Neighborhood Guard’s DIY Camera solution, with examples of Real Photos.
  4. What is a COOP and how would it work for us.
  5. Member Benefits
  6. Member Obligations
  7. Fee Structure Feedback round.
  8. Next Steps and Tasks Ahead
  9. Election of Interim Board / Filling of Critical volunteer positions:
    1. Chairperson
    2. Treasurer
    3. Secretary
    4. Members for the Bylasws / “legal” committee
    5. Members for the Pr & Marketing committee
    6. Members for the Web-master committee
    7. Members for the Recruiting committee
    8. Members for the Services committee
    9. Members for the Tech Support committee
    10. Members for the Software Development committee
  10. Open Discussion

Again we cannot wait to see a lot of concerned citizens ready to do something about crime  on Monday.

Presentation at North Hill Community Town Hall Meeting on Security Cameras

Your Neighborhood activist Jesper “JJ” Jurcenoks will be presenting his latest findings and answer questions on Neighborhood Security Camera implementation during the


Saturday, June 30, 2012

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Family Room, Montclair Presbyterian Church, 701 Thornhill Drive, Oakland

Sponsored by The Public Safety Committee (PSC) of the North Hills Community Association (NHCA)

My presentation will be right after the main introduction, and will be followed by other presentations on indoor and home security camera systems,as told by our neighbors who has practical experiences with these systems.

During the presentation I will be showing real images captured by our cameras and will explain some of the main difficulties and challenges.

There will opportunities to ask questions in forum and 1 on 1.

Hope to see you there.

============= Updated July 6, 2012 =============

"This is Neighborhood Watch 3.0," Jesper "JJ" Jurcenoks told the standing-room-only crowd of 125 people in Montclainr

San Francisco Chronicle writes: “no one received more applause than Jesper “J.J.” Jurcenoks, a self-described security activist whose cameras snap pictures of every license plate that enters his street” Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle / SF

We had a great meeting in Montclair Presbyterian Church, a lot of people showed up, and the response was tremendous.

Reporter Justin Berton covered the event, and today it made the front page of San Francisco Chronicle – above the fold 😉 .

It is important to get the word out that you can actually do something about crime if you are determined enough.

I will gladly come to talk at your neighborhood meeting, the more groups that have neighborhood cameras the more secure for everyone. (anybody you catch in your neighborhood won’t come to my neighborhood and vice versa)

You can read the full San Francisco Chronicle coverage here:

I will be posting more details on the Neighborhood Guard COOP concept soon – stay tuned.

Visit By Captain Israel

Oakland PD Captain Jeffrey Israel comes by

Saturday was a big day for our neighborhood group, Captain Israel had seen our photos submitted as evidence to the Police and wanted to come by and see the system for himself.

He was greeted by the Chairperson of our neighborhood group and myself.

Captain Israel arrives, click to enlarge, you can even read the "CA EXEMPT" on the License plate.

Captain Israel arrives, click to enlarge, you can even read the "CA EXEMPT" on the License plate.

The first order of business was to show him our recording of him entering our neighborhood.

The Camera had been well hidden and he had not seen it.

The license plate was readable in all the photos.

We did a short demonstration of our system and discussed when it was prudent to call the police. Answer: Every time.

 Advice from Captain Israel

1) If someone knocks on your door at 3:00 am in the morning, call the police immediately, that is a time with low call volume, and typically the police will be able to respond right away.

2) If the Alarm goes of in the middle of the night and the burglars flee, call it in immediately, it is an attempted Burglary and needs to be logged in their database so that the police can determine criminal patterns.

3) For both incidents it is a great help for the police if the neighborhood surveillance photos can be tied to a police report number, so again make sure you report it every time.

Make sure your Camera are lit and visible at night.

Make sure your Camera are lit and visible at night.

4) When placing real or decoy cameras on the outside on your property, place it where it is lit at night, so that the criminals can clearly see the camera also at night.

5) Make sure your internal list of trusted license plates is up-to-date so that you don’t report a neighbor to the police.

Helping others

Captain Israel asked us to share our know-how with other neighborhood groups, and introduced us to another group which is about to start a neighborhood Camera Project. Naturally we agreed to help on the spot.

Last was the obligatory Photo Opportunity

Captain of Police Jeffrey Israel  and Jesper Jurcenoks

Captain of Police Jeffrey Israel and Jesper Jurcenoks