By Kelly Reeves
Meridian Times staff writer
Meridian Township Police organized a neighborhood watch program around 1991 to prevent crimes and to keep citizens safe.
To date, 76 communities in Meridian Township are part of the neighborhood watch program.
These communities include not only neighborhoods, but also apartment complexes and trailer parks, said Meridian Police Sgt Crane.
Neighborhood watch works by having a coordinator organize the program for the neighborhood and recruit others to patrol the neighborhood as well.
Block captains for neighborhoods coordinate the responsibilities as well as explaining the neighborhood watch to other residents. They are in control of obtaining names, addresses and telephone numbers of those who want to be part of their program.
“We call the coordinator if something is going on in their area, and then they’ll call the block captains who then notify the other residents in their neighborhood so they are aware and alert. This way, information travels faster to all the residents,” said Crane.
“We patrol neighborhoods and school areas on a daily basis. We even offer a service of patrolling specific properties if residents are going out of town. While these residents are gone, we will patrol their house at least once a day to make sure everything looks in place,” said Sgt. Crane.
“We’ve been getting more involved in the communities and at least once or twice a year we have a meeting with our neighborhood watch members to make sure we stay in close contact and that everything is going as smoothly as we like,” said Crane.
What each member can do:
• Get to know your neighbors and become familiar with their routines.
• Look after your neighbor’s home when they are gone.
• Report unusual or suspicious behavior to the police.
• Write down descriptions of people or vehicles.
• Call the Neighborhood Watch Crime Line (853-4888) for criminal activity and crime trends.
How to report:
• Call 911 for crimes in progress such as gun shots, fire, accidents involving injury and other serious matters.
• Call 332-6526 for property crimes involving loud parties, or any accident not life threatening.