Captain’s Forum Features Northern Division Officers


NW Forum Barbara GellmanMore than fifty Neighborhood Watch Captains from around Northern Division gathered at Standley Recreation Center on Thursday, June 18, with Community Liaison Officer Holly Tafoya and other law enforcement officials to learn how to recognize and prevent elder abuse and financial crimes. Other topics of discussion included traffic accident investigation and the Quality of Life team.

Panel members were (from left to right in photo) Officer Holly Tafoya, Detective Farrell Layton, and Officers Joe Benavides, Phil Worthington and Collin Governski. The forum was organized by University City Neighborhood Watch Coordinator Barbara Gellman, standing. Tips and takeaways were many.

From Detective Layton: The most frequent way scammers contact their victims is by telephone. There is no way to prevent these calls as many are made by computer using Internet technology, not regular phone lines. You can protect yourself from these crimes by being smart. For example, if a ‘family member’ calls with a request for money, verify their story with another family member before sending money or purchasing a pre-paid debit card.

From Accident Investigation Officer Benavides: Officers are seeing an increase in fatal pedestrian, bicycle and motorcycle accidents involving cars and trucks. Most often, it is not the car or truck driver who is at fault; it is the pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist. To prevent these types of accidents, make eye contact with motorists and be especially cautious walking or riding at night, even in a crosswalk or designated bike lane.

From Quality of Life Team Officers Worthington and Governski: This proactive team responds to complaints from residents about people, often transients, who are interfering with the complainant’s quality of life. To report an issue such as a homeless camp, loitering or people living in cars, call the police non-emergency number 619-531-2000. Homeless outreach and other services are offered to all who are contacted by this team.

From Community Liaison Officer Holly Tafoya: She is a source of information on any of these and other law enforcement topics. Contact her at or 858-552-1703.

Touch base with your Neighborhood Watch Captain to learn more crime prevention tips and takeaways. Don’t know who your Captain is? Then please contact Neighborhood Watch Coordinator Barbara Gellman at or 858-452-2326.


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