YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — If you leave your on-base home, can you count on a neighbor to keep an eye on your place?

How is crime in your neighborhood compared to a year ago?

A new survey targeting residents of Yokosuka’s housing communities is part of a renewed push toward crime prevention, base Crime Prevention Coordinator Investigator Chavella Bailey said.

Surveys were distributed for the first time Thursday at Negishi’s town meeting and others will be handed out in Ikego on Tuesday, Bailey said.

Eventually, surveys also will focus on crime in Yokosuka’s commercial and recreation areas, she said.

“We’re at the beginning stages,” Bailey said Friday. “The survey is simply a way for our residents to share information with us.”

The survey is part of a larger initiative to increase education and community policing in hopes of making “the criminal’s job a little bit harder,” she said.

“We as law enforcement cannot be everywhere and see everything that is happening in our communities,” Bailey said. “We need our residents to be our eyes and ears for us when we can’t physically be in places they are.”

That means creating a cadre of community members comfortable with reporting practices, knowing when to involve security and knowing whom to call when an incident occurs, she said.

She also thinks communities should be aware of recent crime trends, she said.

“Not all crimes are committed by teenagers,” Bailey said. “We have a lot of larcenies committed by adults, too.”

Only 10 out of 40 people at the Negishi meeting returned a completed survey, but Bailey wasn’t worried about return rates yet, she said.

Those in Negishi who want to fill out a survey can contact the base’s officer-in-charge for a copy. After Ikego, surveys will also be taken in the schools, the Fleet Recreation building, the Navy Exchange, the Teen Center and other areas, she said.

Negishi town hall meeting airs concerns

Several residents of Negishi brought questions forward Thursday at a town hall meeting with base commander Capt. Daniel Weed and other community leaders.

The housing community is at 68 percent occupancy, up 6 percent from last year at this time, Weed said. Here is a brief rundown of the issues. All answers are from Weed, unless otherwise specified.

Q: When a writer to the “Action Line” of the base newspaper asked about allowing dogs in Yokosuka’s housing towers, the answer neglected to mention Negishi and was thus a missed advertising opportunity.A: Too many families have been actively dissuaded from moving to Negishi where there are beautiful homes with large yards for dogs. People say that it’s too far to drive or that the houses are too small, but if you’re not “into” living near the ship and have a dog or cat, it’s the perfect place. I think there’s a cultural bias in the housing office and we’re working to change it.

Q: Can we get a large capacity washer and dryer at Negishi so we don’t have to go to Yokosuka to wash our bedding?A: They are already working on that.

Q: Can we get two “home-to-work” buses when the Kitty Hawk Strike Group is here? When the ships are in, the bus is packed and people are turned away.A (from Public Works representative Lt. Cmdr. Victor Velasco): We have taken ridership surveys and data points, but we may not have gotten them at this particular time. We need to guarantee the ridership, as we are fighting to keep the buses as they are.

Q: We need to have a day bus to take the spouses who don’t drive to the base to go shopping. This is like jail for someone who doesn’t drive.A: Most of the people here are saying that it isn’t a problem, but I’ll look into it.

Q: Can we get a credit card machine at the Negishi gas station?A: (from NEX representative): The machines are very expensive so we would probably look at expanding our hours of operation first.

Q: From a force protection perspective, why do we have so many Japanese gate guards?A: The Japanese government provides those people to us and they are highly trained and good at their jobs. The Japanese pay 87 percent of our costs here, which is billions of dollars. (From Security): Our staff trains the Japanese, who keep our base secure to the utmost. (From base Master Chief Bill Holz): In CONUS and overseas, it is common to find rent-a-cops or civilian police guarding military bases.

Q: Some of the parents would like to start a preschool co-op in Negishi.A: I’ll listen to a plan if it’s reasonable and executable.

Q: Morale Welfare and Recreation subsidizes self-led tours and activities at other bases … why not Yokosuka?A: (John Kinnamon, MWR director): It’s a funding issue. Atsugi has 7,000 people compared to Yokosuka’s 25,000.

In addition to questions, the following kudos were offered:

Thanks to the Negishi Club for getting healthy, kid-friendly alternatives on the menu!

The renovated movie theater is the best thing to happen for the community in years.

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