Neighborhood Watch program meeting not well attended
Only two residents of the 7th District showed up at the Neighborhood Watch Program meeting held last night at the Boys & Girls Club on 52nd Street. Alderperson Patrick Juliana attributed the low attendance to the fact that the district has a very high transient rate. Even though the percentage of home ownership has increased every year for the last four years in the district, most people don’t want to get involved. Other reasons given for non-participation were: 1) Because they are doing illegal acts; 2) Because they feel intimidated; and 3) Because they are afraid of retribution.
Kenosha Police Department Neighborhood Crime Watch officers Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis were present and were prepared to do a presentation, but did not due to the low attendance. Bob Marengo has been trying to spur interest among his neighbors to form a neighborhood watch group for some time now. He has installed security cameras around his home and has helped other neighbors do the same. Juliana said that a four- or six- or eight-block radius is not necessary. Even as few as 15 houses that are located near each other can form a neighborhood watch group. Wamboldt and Francis encouraged Marengo to get the interested neighbors together and schedule another meeting. They stated that they normally don’t do weekend meetings, but they would be happy to do whatever it takes to get the group going.
Wamboldt said that neighbors don’t have to feel intimidated or fear retribution when they call the police. They can call in anonymously. “Make sure you get specific addresses or license plate numbers to report when calling,” he said. Wamboldt said a major key to success is the police and the neighbors working together.
Neighborhood Watch is one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear. It fights the isolation that crime both creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve.
Neighborhood Watch consists of neighbors helping neighbors. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping each other. Members meet their neighbors, learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report suspicious activity to the police or sheriff’s office.
The city of Kenosha currently has 160 Neighborhood Watch groups in place.
If you would like to find out if your neighborhood has a group already formed, please contact the Kenosha Police Department Crime Prevention Unit, Officers Wamboldt or Francis, at (262) 657-3937. Also contact them if you’re interested in starting a new neighborhood watch group own in your own neighborhood.