New neighborhood watch hosting organizational meeting
by Jennifer Cohron
Jan 23, 2013 | 1605 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cordova residents concerned about crime are invited to the city’s first Neighborhood Watch meeting on Thursday.

Police chief Nick Smith is hoping to see a large crowd at City Hall at 7 p.m.

He and his officers need extra eyes and ears throughout the city as they attempt to reduce the statistics announced at the last council meeting, which included 207 thefts in 2012.

“I think a good Neighborhood Watch will help deter some of the criminal activities that are going on. Maybe we can convince people who are wanting to commit these crimes to go somewhere else,” Smith said.

Smith has already ordered signs that feature the city’s new logo to be distributed in participating neighborhoods.

Smith said he wanted the signs to be instantly recognizable for a reason. “When people who are looking to violate the law see one of these signs, I want them to know that their chances of being caught increase,” Smith said.

Citizens interested in joining the Neighborhood Watch program will be asked to fill out an application on Thursday night.

Watch areas will be established based on the streets represented by the residents who attend, and watch leaders will be assigned.

Assistant chief Zak Green will present a PowerPoint on neighborhood safety, and Mayor Drew Gilbert will also address the crowd.

Future Neighborhood Watch meetings will be held monthly.

“We’ll do presentations and give members the opportunity to come see us face to face and address any concerns or problems they’re having in their particular neighborhoods,” Smith said.

Confidential complaint forms will also be available at the monthly meetings for residents who wish to provide tips anonymously.

Smith said giving citizens the tools they need to effectively communicate with the officers sworn to protect them is key to tackling Cordova’s crime rate.

He is encouraged by the positive responses he has received since the Neighborhood Watch was announced.

In fact, tips have already started coming in. Smith said his officers have arrested three individuals in the act of burglary in the past two weeks thanks largely to neighbors who reported suspicious activity.

In addition to the Neighborhood Watch, Smith is also planning to roll out a Business Watch program this week for merchants who wish to have a better relationship with local law enforcement.

“It’s going to take the mayor and council, the citizens and the police department all working together to protect the city,” Smith said.

For more information, call the Cordova Police Department at 483-7378.