OAKLAND -- It's a Wednesday evening and Jesper "JJ" Jurcenoks is getting ready to go out to another neighborhood meeting to talk about security cameras.
But he's not a salesman looking for new customers, he's an Oakland hills resident hoping to expand his vision of secure neighborhoods by setting up an association of local groups. For him, it's about finding safety in numbers.
"If I can help make you secure, then I'm secure," he said.
Jurcenoks' idea is to expand his local neighborhood's system of security cameras and software into other neighborhoods by forming a cooperative, where neighbors will help others get set up and also share crime-fighting information. To that end, he's set up a meeting on Nov. 19 where representatives of local groups can learn about his system, called Neighborhood Guard.
Jurcenoks' own neighborhood, close to Skyline Boulevard, got cameras after a violent crime last year. Residents got together and talked about options.
The group ended up buying security cameras. Mounted in obvious manner and illuminated at night, they take high-detail photos of people and cars coming in and out of the neighborhood, including capturing license plates.
The software flags cars not on the "trusted" list but privacy is handled by having only one member of the group assigned to view photos.
The cameras, including electricity, cables, camouflage, infrared lighting and installation costs, cost approximately $2,200. There are also costs for signage, as a deterrent factor, and decoy cameras, so that burglars don't target the real ones.
Since then Jurcenoks, who works in computer security, has become an expert in buying, installing and monitoring the cameras and has made presentations to many other residents. Eventually, he came up with the idea of a cooperative so that expertise in the hardware and software could spread even further.
Not just a buying group to get a good price on cameras, Neighborhood Guard would have fees, bylaws and agreements for how to share information, as well as instructions on how to set up everything from a board to a bank account. Jurcenoks said around 40 neighborhood groups have already expressed interest.
Max Horowitz, who has lived in Redwood Heights for 22 years, said his neighborhood is definitely interested in joining Neighborhood Guard. Crime, he said, had skyrocketed in the past seven or eight years.
The more than 40 households on his street have all agreed to join Neighborhood Guard, except for one person concerned about privacy. And although he doesn't expect the cameras to bring instant results, Horowitz is optimistic about long-term security.
"We definitely think it will improve our overall safety," he said.
At the Nov. 19 meeting, Jurcenoks will present Neighborhood Guard's cameras and photos, talk about the structure of the cooperative and hold elections for a volunteer board. Libby Schaaf, councilmember for District 4, will also attend.
What: Neighborhood Guard cooperative founding meeting
When: 6 p.m. Nov. 19
Where: Redwood Heights Recreation Center, 3883 Aliso Ave.