Wednesday, December 05, 2001

Crime watch group begins

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP — A rash of suspected juvenile vandalism has prompted residents in the Landen neighborhood to start a Neighborhood Watch program.

        After several street signs were removed, trees uprooted, mailboxes vandalized and cars broken into, residents attended a township trustees meeting in search of help. About three weeks ago, 45 residents attended a meeting to organize the program.

        Patti Hawkins, who lives on Hedgerow Lane, is the captain for her street. Besides thwarting vandalism, she said, the program offers neighbors a chance to get to know each other and learn what's going on in their neighborhood.

        “We already have people out looking and calling,” Mrs. Hawkins said. “People have made more phone calls.”

        Neighborhood Watch is a national crime prevention program that dates to the late 1960s, according to the National Sheriffs' Associa tion in Alexandria, Va. It encourages participants to look out for each other, trains them to recognize suspicious activities, and forges relationships between police and communities they serve.

        Warren County Sheriff's Deputy Tim Walker, who helped establish the crime prevention program in Deerfield Township, said residents are being taught how to make their homes more secure and techniques to reduce the risk of being victimized.

        “The trustees and the sheriff have come to the conclusion that these partnerships are just invaluable,” Deputy Walker said.

       For more information about how to start a Neighborhood Watch program in Deerfield Township, call Deputy Tim Walker at 697-2740.


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