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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Neighborhood Watch organizing in Genesee

Trooper Delp explains the functions of Neighborhood Watch to Genesee residents at a September meeting to form a local program, which is currently being organized by Sarah Miller (top right).

By Sharon Corderman
Genesee is poised to become the first community in the county to coordinate with the state police in the organization of a neighborhood watch program. 

Trooper Michael Delp, community liaison officer from the Denton Hill State Police Barracks, attended the initial organizational meeting on Sept. 14 and said he is excited to work with Genesee residents keep their community safe and deter crime and criminals. 

“Neighborhood watch programs aren’t just about crime, they’re about working together as neighbors,” Delp said. He encouraged the couple dozen residents in attendance to come together as friends and, along with others in the community, watch their neighborhoods and report anything suspicious.

Sarah Miller, Genesee resident and program organizer, gave attendees several things to think about at the beginning of the meeting, questioning if they are concerned with the recent increase in crime and vandalism, if they are concerned about drugs and drug sales in the area, and if they currently work with their neighbors on issues. She said that she hopes the watch program will encourage residents not only to watch for suspicious activity, but also to look after the well-being of their neighbors. “I hope this brings us closer as a community and as friends,” she said. “This can be a benefit to all of us in more than one way.”

Neighborhood watch programs focus on ‘eyes-and-ears’ training and uses signs posted around the neighborhood to help deter would-be criminals. The programs are created mainly around the concept of getting to know one’s neighbors and thereby becoming better equipped in sharing information and watching for signs of suspicious activity. 

Miller said a committee has been formed as the next step in activating the program. The committee will meet Oct. 19 in the social room at the First Citizens Community Bank and another community meeting will likely be planned for sometime in the upcoming weeks. 

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