Written by Denise Nash Friday, 19 February 2010 00:00
The West Jericho Civic Association started a Neighborhood Watch program last year to better protect residents against crime and to build a sense of community among the residents.
In June 2009, Officer Tom Gilberti, Nassau County Police Department Community Affairs, spoke to members of the civic group about starting a Neighborhood Watch Program and the importance of calling 911 for any issue involving crime, such as abandoned vehicles in the neighborhood or even street lights being out.
Participation in the program was needed by 50 percent of the residents in order for the Town of Oyster Bay to install neighborhood watch signs throughout the neighborhood. These signs were recently installed.
To have a successful program, neighbors must have an involved block coordinator, who consists of overseeing the activities of the block captains and collecting the information gathered by the block captains. The block coordination is the liaison between the Watch members and the police department for all non-emergency situations regarding the Neighborhood Watch. There are approximately 11 block captains in West Jericho, which represent 170 homes, 70 of which pay dues.
In this program, block captains talk to their neighbors and tell them about the watch program. They also keep track of the names, phone numbers and emails of everyone in the neighborhood. If anyone sees anything suspicious, the email and phone chain is in place to alert neighbors of any suspicious behaviors.
Krishna Rajagopalan, president of the West Birchwood Civic Association, said that his residents are glad to have the Neighborhod Watch Program in Place. “Eighty percent of burglars, when asked if they would go into a neighborhood watch area, said they would avoid those neighborhoods,” said Rajagopalan. “It is a great program and really got the community to rally together.”
According to Officer Gilberti, residents should call the Problem Oriented Police Office at 573-6270 or 573-6271 when they are going on vacation for any extended period of time or if they see anything suspicious.