“That’s why I started the block watch–because I had big problems,” says Rosa Pastrana, founder and captain of the Osborn Block Watch. After her truck was stolen three times, she decided to take a more active role in keeping her neighborhood safe. Last year, a serial shooter killed seven people between March and June, six of whom were struck in Rosa’s community of Maryvale in west Phoenix. The spike in violent crime highlighted the need for residents and police to work together. Sean Patrick Connolly, Maryvale’s outgoing police commander, says community safety relies on partnership between residents and law enforcement. “It’s ambassadors like Rosa that can foster it,” he says.

According to city data, in the last month Rosa’s block has seen three thefts, a burglary, one sexual assault and one aggravated assault.