Friday, August 2, 2013

News from the Neighborhoods


How many remember the days of not having to lock your car doors, or your house doors for fear of strangers walking in, let alone a burglar? How many remember that a new face in your neighborhood just meant there was a new neighbor or someone had lost their way looking for an address, not someone casing the neighborhood looking for a house where the family is not home or who has alarms and who does not? Or how many of you could sit on your front porch and enjoy the evening listening to the quiet of the neighborhood, instead have to listen to  the constant booming of a stereo and watching ‘supposedly’ covert drug deals?

Most of these things are pretty much a reality now, and they can happen in the most upscale neighborhoods.  

The months of July and August are vacation times and there are increased home invasion instances reported during these months.  There is an Annual crime prevention awareness program called National Night Out [NNO] and it is just that - a National Awareness campaign to bring the problem of crime and drug trafficking in our neighborhoods to the forefront. The NNO event is always held the first Tuesday in August throughout the nation.  This year the date will be Tuesday, August 6th.

Over 15,700 cities in all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases around the world will host a variety of activities for the evening. A National Association of Town Watch representative states, “This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation. On NNO, we invite neighborhoods nationwide to join us in Giving Crime & Drugs a Going Away Party”. Here in Decatur we have participated in this program since the late ‘80’s.  The corporate sponsor for the past few years has been Target. This year the Nextdoor.com and Associa programs have come on board as sponsors.

Did you know -  A home burglary happens every 14.6 seconds somewhere in the United States. They enter your home via the first floor 81% of the time, 34% through the front door; 23% through a first-floor window; 22% through the back door. Property crime makes up slightly more than three-quarters of all crime in the United States. Most (62.4 percent) of residential burglaries take place during the day, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. As far as drug trafficking goes, it could invade all neighborhoods, whether inner city or the more affluent neighborhoods, and happen at any time of the day or night. These are just a few statistics on home burglary’s let alone the other crimes that could invade your neighborhood. Some of these burglaries or other illegal activities could have been prevented if they were seen and reported by a neighbor.  When you know the people that live around you and they know you it decreases the uncertainty and surprises of what goes on in your environment. They watch you house when you are gone and you return the favor when they are gone.

So please, help us celebrate an evening of anti-drug/crime awareness by visiting Mueller, Hess, or Fairview Parks between 5:30 and 8:00pm. Meet and greet your neighbors, strike up a relationship that works at preventing your neighborhood at becoming a ‘free for all’ for illegal activities. Don’t forget to turn on your porch light to show the unity of the program. Bring the family and have fun. Make sure you invite your neighbors and your friends.

Send a message to criminals that we are ‘watching them’ and we are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood for the Police!

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