Business Watch

Business Watch - Tesoro

In November 2016, the Business Watch Program was introduced to the South Gate Community. With the support of a grant awarded by Tesoro Corporation, the Business Watch Program will allow business owners to take an active part in preventing and reducing crime by sharing information, raising awareness, and improving communications.

Business Watch is a Crime Prevention Program that provides business owners and employees with Crime Prevention Strategies and techniques they can apply to help reduce crime in or around their businesses. It also helps establish partnerships among businesses, the South Gate Police Department, and other organizations that represent business interests.

Goals of Business Watch

  • Lessen chances of becoming a victim by taking control of what happens in your business community.
  • Promote a safe environment for people to work, shop and live in.
  • Teach business owners and employees how to be observant and aware of any suspicious activity or individuals. They are at the front end of the business and are a great resource for Crime Prevention.
  • Improve communication between business proprietors and the South Gate Police Department.
  • Provide education and information to business proprietors to help reduce crime in targeted areas.
  • Preserve and reclaim our business centers and eliminate conditions that give rise to crimes.
  • Encourage business owners to utilize security measures to the fullest extent in order to deter crime.

Business Watch poster

Benefits of Business Watch

  • Educate participants in the principles of deterring, detecting, and preventing crime.
  • Unite businesses towards a common goal.
  • Community Business Safety Seminars.
  • Creates a strong communication network and understanding among businesses and the South Gate Police Department.
  • Business Watch advisories on crime trends in your area.
  • Opportunity to network with other businesses.

How does Business Watch work?

Modeled after the Neighborhood Watch Program, it establishes communication among businesses in a specific area. Business Watch groups meet on a regular basis to discuss local crime trends and concerns. Members are encouraged to form districts that look out for each other. A key element in Business Watch is employee education. The South Gate Police Department will offer training information for business owners and employees free of charge on a variety of topics including reporting suspicious activity, shoplifting, and robbery prevention. Thieves find quick opportunities to steal property; thriving Business Watch programs across the nation deter those criminals by:

  • Promoting communication and understanding between law enforcement and the business community
  • Encouraging cooperation between neighboring merchants
  • Teaching merchants to crime-proof their own properties and to watch over neighboring businesses
  • Reporting any suspicious activities to the Police
  • Developing a telephone tree and e-mail group for quick dissemination of information regarding criminal activity in the area
  • Encouraging the development of signals notifying adjacent businesses when a merchant needs assistance

Is Your Business a Target for Crime?

The following are a list of safety tips you can apply to help reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

  • Secure all points of entry at your business. Many criminals will use roof vents, ducts or roof access doors to gain entry.
  • Have a trusted professional audit your security: locks, alarms, doors, windows and WALLS (thin walls can be a good entry point).
  • Lights deter thieves; keep lights on or have motion activated lights in dark areas
  • Do not leave money in your store overnight
  • Do not make deposits on a regular interval, change the routine for all high risk activities
  • Teach employees to be aware of persons who are loitering or behaving in a suspicious manner
  • Advertise a policy of cooperating with local law enforcement and prosecuting all shoplifters
  • To heighten awareness of would-be thieves, greet all customers; make on-going contacts with customers in your business
  • Audit inventory for the purpose of spotting losses; do not overlook the possibility of embezzlement or internal thefts. Employees make up a significant percentage of annual loss in businesses
  • Maintain key control. Know who has keys to your business; collect keys from those who leave employment

For more information please contact the Business Watch Coordinator, Maria Rodriguez at 323-563-5465 or email her at