We’ve noticed that many of the neighborhood watch signs we’ve come across lately are old and in disrepair.
To us, it’s an indication that what was once a significant movement by many residents to look out for each other seems to be going by the wayside, like many other efforts to create livable communities.
These days, many communities are in transition as people move in search of more affordable rent, downsize or pass away. In addition, many former homeowners who were the victims of shoddy lending practices by the banks, and lost their homes to foreclosure, have moved away from their neighborhoods and local civic activities like neighborhood watch.
Now that many neighborhoods are starting to stabilize, we believe it would be greatly beneficial to residents, local police and local government to begin to promote neighborhood watch again.
When local authorities, especially law enforcement, form a relationship with the residents of the areas it patrols, it lessens the need for confrontation because the entities are acquainted and have formed some trust with each other.
We think that many neighborhood fights and misunderstandings can also be avoided when residents have the ability to approach each other as neighbors and not strangers. It would really be helpful if people knew who to call for help when a problem arises, such as parking availability, noisy parties, street clean up and even 4th of July fireworks problems.
When neighbors look out for each other, it leads to calmer and happier living environments.
Thus, we suggest to our area neighborhood councils, local elected officials and police departments that they begin to help revive Neighbor Watch, first by approaching residents when there are no immediate problems.
And to people everywhere, get to know your neighbors, take the first step if necessary and introduce yourself, you’ll be surprised how much safer you will feel.Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.