Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 18, 2010

Keeping an eye out

Watch programs making a difference

Kokomo — Neighbors taking care of neighbors.

That’s how Judy Price sums up her experience with the local crime-watch program.

“We feel safer,” Price said of her Cedar Crest neighborhood. “In small ways, we think it’s made a difference. Some of crime has gone down.”

Price, a retired Chrysler worker, and her husband have lived in the area for 24 years and feel safe knowing their neighborhood has a crime watch in place.

“I think people in the neighborhood are far more aware and more vigilant now,” she said.

“We’re keeping an eye out for each other and each other’s homes.”

Traffic problems, animal complaints, mischief and occasional domestic violence calls are the main problems, she said.

“We met with [Officer] Ted Mygrant and he gives us a crime report every month,” said Price. “That’s one thing that helps is the working relationship with police.

“When I grew up and you needed help, you could ask a cop,” she continued. “They don’t get the respect they used to get.”

Officer Shawn Mayfield facilitates crime watches in a number of neighborhoods for the Kokomo Police Department. He said the watch programs also make for a nicer, cleaner neighborhood.

“It’s very important to the community,” said Mayfield. “It’s about neighbors gathering together, communicating with one another and working to prevent crime. Not only does it give us information, it gives neighbors a chance to say what they’re seeing and what kinds of problems they have.”

Mayfield said officers also glean valuable information from residents involved in the watches.

“We get a lot of information from these crime watches that we didn’t know about before. Sometimes, they work things out themselves pretty good,” he said. “We’re trying to expand it more because it is very valuable for the neighborhoods.”

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