Deputy Trains Neighborhood Leaders

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Deputy Trains Neighborhood Leaders

Prince Frederick, MD - 3/12/2012

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By Marty Madden

Dfc. Andrew Clas
Dfc. Andrew Clas

Keeping the momentum going once a subdivision begins a new chapter of Neighborhood Watch was the recurring theme of a training session lead by a veteran officer of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office. The session took place Saturday, March 10 at Courthouse Square in Prince Frederick.

“It’s not just about nosy neighbors,” said Dfc. Andrew Clas, one of the local organization’s liaison officers. “Neighborhood Watch is a team. The more eyes out there the better. It’s designed to enhance neighborhood security. We [police] can’t be everywhere.”

Clas explained methods for keeping a Neighborhood Watch going include having regular meetings, conducting a survey within the subdivision, crime prevention training sessions and exposure to other Neighborhood Watch groups.

All crime issues, including school bullying, family violence prevention, gang violence, substance abuse prevention and mediation in the event of disputes are all subjects that may be discussed at a Neighborhood Watch meeting.

Additionally, to ensure the program grows, it is important for residents involved with Neighborhood Watch to conduct ‘an evaluation of goals and programs.”

As for functioning as an effective Neighborhood Watch team, Clas told the 15 attendees it was important to act instinctively. “If, in your gut, something doesn’t seem right, it’s not,” he said. Those things that could be amiss include unfamiliar vehicles or people in a neighborhood. “Any type of activity or circumstance should be reported,” said Clas, who added it was important for witnesses to obtain “a quick and accurate description of events, vehicles and persons.”

One meeting attendee said she would be concerned her information might be sending police officers on “a wild chase.”

“You’re not,” said Clas. “you never know when it’s going to matter.”

Clas urged the trainees to visit USAonwatch.org for more information about Neighborhood Watch.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com



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