Neighborhood watch spreading throughout city
by Jennifer Cohron
Mar 06, 2013 | 1846 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City employees install a Cordova Neighborhood Watch sign near Cliff Street in Cordova. Signs are available to Neighborhood Watch members for a $35 fee. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jennifer Cohron
City employees install a Cordova Neighborhood Watch sign near Cliff Street in Cordova. Signs are available to Neighborhood Watch members for a $35 fee. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jennifer Cohron
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CORDOVA — Cordova residents are showing an interest in the new Neighborhood Watch program.

Police chief Nick Smith said both of the meetings hosted by his department have been well-attended. Fifty-five people were present for January’s organizational meeting, and 42 turned out for the gathering in February.

“I’m very excited about the interest in Neighborhood Watch. It gives our police department encouragement to continue doing things for the community and seeking their input,” Smith said.

The first Cordova Neighborhood Watch signs were installed throughout the city on Tuesday.

Residents of First Street, Amory Avenue, the Cordova Housing Authority and other areas have notified criminals that all suspicious activities are now being reported to the CPD.

Signs may be purchased for $35 by members of the Neighborhood Watch.

A total of 13 signs have been ordered so far.

Mayor Drew Gilbert, who has made revamping the police department a priority of his administration, said he is pleased with the progress that has been made.

“It may seem like little things at first, but putting all of these building blocks together is how we’re going to build a city back,” Gilbert said.

The successful launch of the Neighborhood Watch is one of several accomplishments that Smith can claim in his first three months on the job in Cordova.

Other changes include an upgrade of the police fleet, requiring daily checks of local schools and businesses, switching the department to paperless tickets, updating policies and procedures and establishing a reserve officer program.

Smith said the combined effort of the police department, the council and citizens is already resulting in a decrease in crime.

In November, the month Smith was hired, 65 reports were taken by Cordova officers.

The number of reports has gradually decreased from 33 in December and 42 in January to nine in February.

Smith attributes the decline to increased visibility. CPD now has at least two officers on duty most of the time.

“In the community and especially those streets within the city, they’re seeing a lot more of an officer presence than they’re probably used to in the past,” Smith said.