Neighborhood Watch programs bring safety to communities
This is the latest in a series of articles that will regularly appear on KenoWi.com from Kenosha Police Department crime prevention unit officers Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis:
“It works!” was the most common answer given by Neighborhood Watch (NW) participants when asked why people of Kenosha should start an NW program in their neighborhoods.
“It’s also fun,” said Angie Howard, NW block captain. “When our group gets together, it’s like having a party. We have become such great friends. Not only have we learned how to keep ourselves safe, but I now have another group of friends.”
For very little effort on the part of the participants NW provides substantial benefits.
When other people care about one another, they tend to help one another. Whether shoveling snow after a storm or calling the police about suspicious activity, NW brings people together for the betterment of the entire neighborhood.
“Bag guys” do not like NW, specifically because of this community-building concept. Creating a sense of neighborhood ownership while giving the residents some of the tools needed to remove the opportunity for criminal behavior to occur is the key.
Direct Police Contact
NW allows citizens to have direct contact with police officers. “I like that we have a friendly relationship and another way to communicate with the police department. We are told that we can call with our concerns, and they will give it personal attention,” said Brent Towle, block captain in the 2nd Aldermanic District.
Many times, the neighbors are the key element. NW participants help the police by being the extra eyes and ears needed to solve a crime.
Whether the participants choose to remain anonymous or not, they are taught how to effectively report suspicious activity and provide suspect descriptions.
The basic idea behind NW is to prevent criminal behavior in the first place, while raising the quality of life for Kenosha citizens. Simply put, NW is neighbors helping neighbors, while at the same time, helping the police.
Ways to Communicate
Participants now have several ways to communicate with the police. Of course, 911 is called in an emergency, and (262) 65601234 is called to report non-emergency issues that need police response. However, there are now several other ways to receive communication.
- Facebook: Like us on Facebook! The Kenosha Police Department’s Facebook page provides information on a variety of topics, from police department history to current scams to persons of interest we would like identified.
- E-mail: NW members receive personal e-mails from the Kenosha Police Department Crime Prevention Unit pertaining to specific issues in their area of town and, once in a while, Bucks or Brewers tickets are given away.
- Website: Check out the Kenosha Police Department website and click on the “Crime Mapping” icon. Here, you will be able to type in any address in the city and observe what type of incidents have taken place during a specified period of time. You can even sign up and have the information sent directly to your inbox. It is a great way to say informed.
Start a Watch
No one wants to be a victim, so why not take precautions? NW can help.
Starting an NW group is easy. Simply contact the Kenosha Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at (262) 657-3937, or [email protected]
Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis are Kenosha Police Department crime prevention officers.