New Vallejo business network program launched

By Irma Widjojo, Vallejo Times-Herald, 03/25/16

A new program is set to launch in Vallejo to create a closer network among business owners and managers in the city.

Business Watch is the brainchild of the Vallejo Police Department Community Services Section unit.

“The concept is very similar to a neighborhood watch group,” Lt. Kenny Park said. “Business owners and managers in an area can all come together and pinpoint the issues that affect them and come with solutions. They can also work closely with CSS and the police.”

The idea is to have a network for businesses to be able to share ideas and concerns about their areas, including vandalism, panhandling and crimes.

“We are hoping to improve the quality of life and help our local business owners,” Park said.

He added the effort is a collaboration between CSS and local businesses, and that the idea was brought up during a meeting with Central Core Restoration Corporation.

Erin Bakke is the executive coordinator of the organization, which provides resources and services to downtown Vallejo businesses.

“I think it is going to help a lot,” Bakke said. “A lot of business owners know each other, but they don’t necessarily share information in a timely and meaningful way. … This gives them a forum.”

She said the increased communication is key to the success of the community, and that the new program could lead to other benefits.

“This could not only help with the negatives, but it can lead to conversations about how we expand on the positive things,” Bakke said.

An event is set to celebrate the launch of the new program at 6 p.m., April 11, at the Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia St.

Among the topics at the presentation are an introduction to Business Watch, safety tips, and principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

Local businesses can enroll in the program at no cost.

To RSVP for the event, contact Mary Pedretti at or by calling the Community Services Section at 707-553-7258.

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