Yesterday I started my first day on the Rukun Tetangga Sistem Rondaan Sukarela (Neighborhood Watch Volunteer Patrol System). The recent spat of break-ins in my neighborhood had prompted the Neighborhood Watch Committee (NWC) to go on a membership drive and recruit new members to the Volunteer Patrol (VP). Although I have been residing in my neighborhood for a little over two years, this is the first time I had heard of it. It had been inactive due to the lack of participation.
About a week before the New Year, the NWC called for a meeting of all the residents in my zone of the neighborhood and attendance was encouraging. Even some who could not attend sent their kids as representatives. After a short introductory speech by the NWC Chairman, we were briefed on the VP. The VP would be equipped with reflector vests, caps, batons, whistles. walkie-talkies and torchlights, all courtesy of the Jabatan Perpaduan Negara (National Unity Department). Our patrol would be from 12 midnight to 4 a.m. The role of the VP is more on prevention rather than to seek active apprehension of criminals in our community. With the nightly patrol, the NWC hoped to reduce and discourage the level of criminal elements in the neighborhood thus protecting our loved ones. I was elected Team Leader for my team, which will patrol the neighborhood every Thursday.