Forming a Neighborhood Watch Group in Sunset Cliffs

by on October 27, 2023 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Judi Curry

Dozens of people attended the Neighborhood Watch meeting at St. Peter’s by the Sea meeting room earlier this month. Over half a dozen signs had been put over the local area notifying people that there was a watch group forming in the neighborhood. At the meeting, residents appeared interested in forming subgroups to work on bringing a unity to the area — a unity that has been missing for several years.

Two people – Rosamaria Acuna and Gary Werchak – were responsible for bringing the effort together.

Captain Brady Holden, SDFD

The two guest speakers were very informative and answered questions from the members of the audience, besides having many suggestions of their own to offer us.  Captain Brady Holden represented the San Diego Fire Department and had many good suggestions for those in attendance.  Additionally, Capt. Holden lives in the area and is concerned about the same things that we, the residents, are concerned about.

Community Relations Officer David Surwilo of the SDPD has said in the past and reiterated it at the meeting that if we see something that we know is wrong, it should be reported to the proper authorities – to the police department at 911 if it is an emergency; to the non-emergency line to the police department if it is not an emergency – 619-692-4800 or 858-581-9920.

Officer David Surwilo

Reporting these issues to social media sites does not handle the problem because the police department is unaware that there is a problem and there is no priority given to the issue.  He had a lot of good advice for those people attending the meeting.

The next meeting is in the planning stages and we hope to have meetings at quarterly throughout the year.  We are hoping to develop sub-groups so that the different problems that are affecting different streets can be addressed and corrected.

For example, some off the parking problems that are affecting Sunset Cliffs Blvd. do not bother residents away from the ocean.  But some of the problems affecting those areas do not affect the Sunset Cliffs Blvd.  Yet we are all in the same “neighborhood” and it is important that those areas be discussed.

We are in the process of planning the next meeting and if you have any comments, questions, suggestions, please to not hesitate to get in touch with either Rosamaria, Dave or myself.  We all want to work together to have a safe and happy environment.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

judi October 27, 2023 at 1:04 pm

Watch for next scheduled meeting!


nostalgic October 27, 2023 at 2:07 pm

If you want things to change, you have to do everything to make that happen.. Yes, these meetings show the city that it still has citizens. The City says to use the “Get it Done” app.“.
Scroll all the way to the bottom, and select: “Report” and in the next column, you have all of the things it processes. Try “Parking Zone Violation,” then you must work your way through the information and entries. Once the computer has it, well, there you are. Probably Geoff can tell you what happens next.


Honesty October 28, 2023 at 5:41 pm

Just be prepared to wait. It took 2 years to get a repair done on a railing on some city stairs. But the guy who came after 2 years did get it done.


Diane October 29, 2023 at 12:55 pm

This meeting was a complete waste of time. In the crowd was two retired Fed officers, two retired police sergeants, and one newly retired police official that was once a community relations officer. He did so well he was promoted to a higher rank. At the meeting lots of talk about fireworks. Fire had no response why a firework call in the middle of the night that resulted in a trashcan fire was not followed up on. As in contacting the resident of the house. Lots of questions about issues in our area and lack of enforcement. Dave Surwilo only said call the police. Apparently, according to Surwilo, the PD representative, we should call the Park Rangers. He passed law enforcement to them. A neighborhood watch meeting should include how not to be a victim. With lots of competent law enforcement in attendance these issues could of been addressed. Rosa Maria rolled her eyes and said this is not that type of meeting. Some of the law enforcement folks got up and walked out. Carjackings everywhere are on the rise but not being reported to the public. Question. Where should you carry your keys and cell phone? What is the second most important phone that you should be making? Those questions could of been answered. Financial Crimes has 20 plus new cases a day. Talk about what you should be doing right now. Just in case you become a victim. Because it’s probably a matter of when. There are things right now to do. But not important. Let Rosamaria know when your a victim. She will get you on the crime victim map which seemed more important. But, not important to prevent our residents from becoming victims. That’s not what Neighborhood Watch Meetings are designed for.


August W. October 30, 2023 at 11:34 am

I was at the meeting and found it very informative. The fire and police reps actually gave good tips and did stress that when you see a crime it is important to call to report it from a safe place, and that people reporting things on social media should occur after a call to the authorities. The police rep advised if you want to see what is happening to go to a website called to see what is occurring in our neighborhood.

It did not seem to me they passed the buck onto the Rangers at all, in fact they pointed out who was responsible for what aspects of the park and neighborhood. Rosamarie also advised the lifeguards and rangers were invited but could not come. So, it seemed the fire and police rep did their best to answer lifeguard and ranger questions.

The reps did tell people that fireworks are illegal and when you hear them you can call the police to report them.

The fire and police reps also did a good job answering questions from the audience, even from a disruptive lady who was clearly there with an agenda and hostile. The people I sat with all though the lady was out of control and would not give the rest of the audience the chance to ask questions. At one point when the lady was trying to attack the fire captain and the moderator, I thought the police officer did a great job shutting her down and allowed other people to ask questions.

I am actually looking forward to the meetings they advised would be held in the future.


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