AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventTonight the group, which uses volunteers to patrol a 4-square-mile area that borders Avocado Heights, Industry and Pico Rivera, will celebrate its 17th anniversary. The potluck celebration is at 7 p.m. at North Whittier Andrews Elementary School, 1010 Caraway Drive. The volunteers fight graffiti by painting vines on walls, organize “Night Out” events six to eight times a year, and once a year hold a 2-mile march against crime and drugs. “For the night-outs, all the neighbors meet on the street and talk,” said Ruben Hernandez, the program’s founder and coordinator. “It’s a lot of fun to see all the neighbors come together.” Hernandez said the community wasn’t always friendly. NORTH WHITTIER – After his home was burglarized 11 years ago, Hans Doppert vowed to do whatever he could to make sure it never happened again. These days, Doppert patrols the streets behind the wheel of a sheriff’s Volunteers on Patrol car, looking for graffiti and watching out for suspicious people and disturbances. “Since I’m retired, it’s something to do better than sitting at home and watching TV,” said Doppert, who is one of 36 block captains in the North Whittier Neighborhood Watch program, one of the Whittier area’s oldest and biggest Neighborhood Watch groups. “I get satisfaction from helping the neighborhood,” Doppert said. When he moved there two decades ago, Hernandez noticed that neighbors ignored each other. “I’m a community person, and I thought this community needed a little more openness,” he said. So he founded North Whittier Neighborhood Watch, but the idea wasn’t met with open arms by residents. When Hernandez handed out fliers for the first meeting, he was told the community was already safe enough, he recalled. At that first meeting, Hernandez learned that wasn’t entirely true. “Everyone said there wasn’t any crime, but we immediately noticed that there was a lot of crime, but nobody talked to each other. They didn’t know there was a problem,” he said. Hernandez hopes to see the program expand in the future into nearby communities. “We touch parts of other cities,” he said. “I’m working to organize their Neighborhood Watches.” He said the program doesn’t just offer residents more security and cleaner streets – it enriches lives. “Our program is a little more than a Neighborhood Watch,” said Hernandez. “It’s a community that believes in friendship. At first, it was very difficult for them to start knowing and trusting each other, but now we are a common front.” For more information about the North Whittier Neighborhood Watch, call (213) 388-8352, or visit www.nwnw.info. email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!