Funnies Extra!

Neighborhood Watch set to get makeover

3/03/11 (Thu)

Neighborhood Watch set to get makeover

By STU MERRY

Garrison business owners say they have had enough. They are taking steps to deter individuals from considering burglary in the community.
Ladd Erickson, McLean County states attorney, met with Garrison Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee members Monday to update them on the status of a number of burglary cases in the community. He also heard that community leaders want to take a more proactive stance in dealing with crime in the city.
One of the steps includes improving and expanding the Neighborhood Watch Program. The program was implemented in late 2009. Erickson said the Neighborhood Watch is beneficial to any community that implements such a program.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “The value in it is that it educates people ….”
A thought from the committee was that it would be in the community’s best interest to enable the Neighborhood Watch Program to have more teeth. One concern was that residents remain uncomfortable reporting unusual activity to authorities.
“Even if it’s something minor, report it – it may lead to something in the big picture,” committee member Bruce Schreiner urged.
Erickson said for the program to work effectively, the whole community has to be on-board.
“The key is community involvement … taking a united stance that crime will not be tolerated,” he said.
Asked about the reward system, Erickson said, “I don’t think that it’s bad to have that out there, but ….”