• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story

Wellsville thanks Neighborhood Watch volunteers with dinner

September 30th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Allie Jeppson

WELLSVILLE — While the extent of criminal acts has been minimal in the past year, a recent effort to keep Wellsville safe through the Neighborhood Watch program proved to be successful. The city’s Parks and Recreation Committee held an appreciation dinner Monday to celebrate the program’s success and thank residents for their help in keeping Wellsville a safer place to live.

“I want to take a second to thank you folks for what you do,” Cache County Sheriff Deputy Groves told those attending. “We rely heavily on citizens who are willing to get involved.”

The Neighborhood Watch program is an effort to reduce crime that relies upon participation of residents of a community to cooperate with law enforcement by making sure that their area is as safe as possible and reporting anything that looks suspicious.

According to the program pamphlet, “The purpose of Neighborhood Watch is to make individuals aware of the steps they can take to make their homes more secure, to show citizens how they can work together with neighbors to protect their entire neighborhood, and to make the Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies more effective in the fight against crime through citizen involvement and participation. It focuses on observation and awareness as a means of preventing crime.”

While this has only been the first year the program has been implemented by Wellsville City, results have already been noticed, said Councilman Gary Bates.

“We try to have the people that live around the park take ownership in it,” Bates said. And it’s worked. “We’ve had hardly any vandalism in the park(s) all summer.”

Included in the Neighborhood Watch program are Wellsville’s three parks: Wellsville Dam Park, Wellsville City Square Park and Black Willow Park, and the residents that live around these parks are those who are primarily responsible to keep a lookout for anything questionable or unusual.

Before residents actually get started, however, they take a training class courtesy of the Cache County Sheriff’s office informing them of what to look to look for, how keep their area safe and the correct procedures to follow if something does happen. “We kicked this project off in the spring,” said Parks and Recreation Committee Chairman Paul Egbert. “It helps the neighbors know what to do.”

Residents were encouraged to never hesitate to call. “It’s never a bother,” said Groves. “If it looks weird, you should call.”

The Recreation Committee also put up signs on the park entrances and trails informing others that the park is a “crime watch” area, Bates said.

Collette Howard is a resident of Wellsville who lives near Wellsville Dam Park and participates in the Neighborhood Watch program.

“The people really haven’t had any problems so far,” Howard said. “But I think it’s a neat idea to have the community involved because there’s no way that the sheriff can patrol it.”


Tags: , ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.