Ybor City Business Watch program helps improve communication between Tampa Police Department and Ybor City businesses. Officer Sean Mahabir is the community officer assigned to Ybor City, and he developed it as a way to make it easier to communicate with - and among - Ybor City businesses.
The program allows business owners to register with the police department for free and place a sticker with the business' serial number on the storefront windows. The serial number corresponds to a database of information, which allows police to quickly get in touch with the right contacts, especially if it's after business hours.
Ybor City business owners are now able to quickly and easily alert one another about crimes or the presence of suspicious people in the neighborhood. The Business Watch program is set up to communicate via email, phone, text, Facebook and Twitter.
How to participate:
More than 100 businesses registered when the program launched in December 2011. To participate, Ybor City businesses should provide the following information to Officer Mahabir:
- Business name
- Business address
- Business manager and owner
- Property owner or landlord information
- Contact numbers
- E-mail address
It is free to participate in the Ybor City Business Watch program. Ybor City Development Corp. funds the cost of the sticker, which was designed by an Ybor City artist. For more information, please contact Officer Mahabir at (813) 480-1272.
Recent news about the Ybor City Business Watch:
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.