Keeping residents safe

Posted 1/10/22

Paris residents took an important first step this past week toward working together to make the community safer by organizing the Neighborhood Watch program.

Neighborhood Watch is a crime …

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Keeping residents safe

Posted

Paris residents took an important first step this past week toward working together to make the community safer by organizing the Neighborhood Watch program.

Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program stressing education and common sense, teaching citizens how to help themselves by identifying and reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. It also provides citizens with the opportunity to make their neighborhoods safer and improve the quality of life.

Neighborhood Watch groups typically focus on observation and awareness as a means of preventing crime and employ strategies ranging from simply promoting social interaction and watching out for each other to active patrols by groups of citizens.

There was a time that we all knew our neighbors. We socialized with them, and our children and grandchildren played together. Even in the small communities in Edgar County busy work schedules and activities have resulted in many of us not knowing who is living next door.

Petty crime including vehicle burglaries, bicycle thefts and stealing from a garage are not occurring just in Paris. They unfortunately happen everywhere, and the decision to establish the watch program will provide support to an already undermanned Paris Police Department.

A benefit of the Neighborhood Watch program and a direct result of crime prevention is a more connected community. Vigilant neighbors can stop crime and keep residents safe, while making the neighborhood a more welcoming environment.

Neighborhood Watch programs can also provide an opportunity to discuss other important topics, such as animal control issues or vehicle safety concerns.

Once the program is established, it can provide an avenue to collect opinions and ideas related to community concerns at large, and work as a team to solve problems.

Whether it’s increasing safety, a neighborhood beautification project, or winter emergency planning, the possibilities for our Neighborhood Watch group to support one another are endless.

According to information provided by National Neighborhood Watch, often, after a Neighborhood Watch has addressed its original issue, members lose interest. It is important for leaders to remain

enthusiastic. One way to accomplish this is to create and embark upon new projects so there is always a goal toward which the team is aspiring.

Success will not happen overnight. Creating a truly effective Neighborhood Watch programs takes patience, planning and enthusiasm. Studies show once a Neighborhood Watch program deteriorates, criminals notice and quickly resume illegal activities, there is certainly motivation to strive toward success.

We’re confident the volunteers and leaders will work toward making it a success.