Who We Are
We have three main objectives to our patrol activities:
- Patrol – Help law enforcement fight crime by serving as extra sets of “eyes and ears”
- Educate – Provide safety and crime prevention education to the community
- Raise Awareness – Increase awareness of street crime within our community
In addition to patrolling, our organization focusses on crime awareness, community safety, and crime prevention. This includes distributing safety whistles, providing youth group outreach events, attending community town hall meetings, and providing safety tip cards…just to name a few.
Stonewall Citizens’ Patrol is 100% volunteer driven “neighborhood watch” patrol organization. We conduct our patrol with 100% “hands off” approach and we do not carry weapons while patrolling. Our main function while on patrol is to act as additional “eyes and ears” for the community and report any unusual activities, violence, or other crimes in progress to law enforcement.
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and are 100% dependent upon our community members for the donations and volunteer hours that enable us to continue this valuable community safety service.
All our volunteers are trained by veteran patrol volunteers known as Field training Officers. In addition, regular training is received from various community agencies such as the San Diego Police Department, City of San Diego Human Relations Commission, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, and the San Diego LGBT Community Center.
In 2006, a group of concerned citizens, led by Bob Lehman, Tom Felkner, Ben Chapman-Gomez and Nicole Murray Ramirez, decided to organize a proactive response to assaults on several gay men that occurred outside the San Diego Pride Festival grounds. That response was the formation of Stonewall Citizens’ Patrol.
The name “Stonewall” was taken in honor of those who, in 1969, stood up against violence and brutality saying, “We’ve had enough!” and embarked on a series of spontaneous demonstrations that are widely considered the beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement. Today, Stonewall Citizens’ Patrol is an all-volunteer neighborhood watch patrol operating in the Hillcrest, North Parks, University Heights, Normal Heights and Banker’s Hill neighborhoods of San Diego. All Stonewall Citizens’ Patrol volunteers receive specialized training from the San Diego Police Department and work a rotating schedule, patrolling the streets and alleys of these highly diverse areas during peak hours when criminal activity is most concerning.
From 2006-2010, Stonewall Citizens’ Patrol operated under the umbrella of the American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) and then became its own all-volunteer 510(c)(3) non-profit organization.