Sultan’s block watch is expected to be up and running again in the near future.

The Sultan Police Department and the City of Sultan are collaborating to revive the local program.

“It used to be pretty prevalent a few years ago,” said Sultan Police Chief Steve McDonald. “It was a success because the amount of reported crimes increased, which we were then able to go take care of — basically, crime decreased because of the extra vigilance.”

An initial meeting was held to gauge interest and offer information to the public on Nov. 8. Nearly two dozen people turned out, McDonald said.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ian Huri, who heads up the Office of Neighborhoods division, spoke about homelessness. Sgt. Nathan Alanis presented on block watch best practices and how the efforts improve safety.

City staff contacted McDonald this fall about restoring the program. He immediately thought it would be a productive venture. He said he has seen other similar systems be successful at the county and local level.

“Any time you have more eyes and ears out in the community, you know, watching each other’s back, and more eyes and ears to report to us, it’s never a bad thing,” he said. 

The city and Sultan police are still in the planning stages, McDonald said. It will likely be a few months before the block watch is in full effect, but he hopes the program will resume by the end of the first quarter of 2018.

McDonald said before any other meetings are held, a block watch captain needs to come forward. He said the volunteer will have to have good communication and organizational skills, but otherwise no prior experience is required. The job will demand a good amount of time, he said.

The leader will act as a liaison for the community, McDonald said. They will work with members of different neighborhoods to identify criminal activity that may be unique to the area and ensure information flows smoothly, he said.

McDonald said the block watch will need to be a joint effort. Participation from the community is critical.

“The ultimate goal is to increase the quality of life — that is why we are here in the first place,” McDonald said.