Ybor City Business Watch

The Ybor City Business Watch was created in 2011 to enhance communication between Ybor City merchants and Tampa Police Department. Officer Sean Mahabir designed the program for Ybor City, and more than 250 Ybor businesses have participated in the program and helped reduce neighborhood crime.

Ybor City Business WatchProperty owners and merchants should register or renew with the Ybor City Business Watch, which records the contact information and assigns a register number to the business or property (instructions below). The serial number is displayed on a sticker on the storefront windows. The sticker signifies the business’ participation in the program and helps officers contact management quickly during an emergency, especially if it's after business hours.

Registered merchants can also receive alerts about any nearby suspicious activity. Ybor City Business Watch is set up to communicate via email, phone, text, Facebook and Twitter. Through it, Ybor City business owners can easily alert one another about crimes or suspicious activity in the neighborhood.

It’s free to participate in the Ybor City Business Watch. Ybor City Development Corp. funds the cost of the window clings, designed by Marketing in Color.

Due to the program’s success, it has expanded to other Tampa neighborhoods, including downtown Tampa, Hyde Park and the University of Tampa. Marketing in Color is donating development of the new website, TampaBusinessWatch.com.

How to participate:

Ybor City businesses interested in registering or renewing with the free program can download the Registration Form.

Email the completed form to Officer Sean Mahabir at sean.mahabir@tampagov.net or submit it at the Ybor City Development Corp. office, 2015 East 7th Avenue.

For additional information about the Ybor City Business Watch, contact Tampa Police Department Community Liaison Officer Sean Mahabir at (813) 480-1272 or sean.mahabir@tampagov.net.

Recent news about the Ybor City Business Watch:

New anti-crime partnership created for downtown Tampa
Tampa Tribune -
March 11, 2015
The new Downtown Business Watch will be overseen by Officer Sean Mahabir, who created the alliance in Ybor City and is currently working on forming another collaboration with the businesses along South Howard Avenue. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

New Twist on an Existing Idea – Ybor City Business Watch
Signal 14 - Spring 2012
While crime has been down over 60% in Ybor City for the last decade, the implementation of the YCBW allows law enforcement to work smarter with the businesses to continue the trend. Read more from Signal 14 (PDF file).

Cameras scan for Ybor vandals
Tampa Tribune - April 30, 2012
They also are working together to catch spray-painters "tagging" businesses in this historic district east of downtown Tampa. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

Ybor City officer becomes part of community
Tampa Tribune - January 30, 2012
Spend a few minutes walking with Mahabir along Seventh Avenue and it seems there isn't anyone he doesn't know. A swarm of activity, he keeps contact with business owners, civic leaders, homeowners and visitors to the neighborhood. Read more from the Tampa Tribune.

TPD launches Ybor City Crime Watch
ABC Action News - December 7, 2012
Crime in Tampa and Ybor City has actually fallen significantly over the past decade, according to Chief Jane Castor. But the perception of danger in Ybor City remains. Read more from ABC Action News.