Crime Prevention Coordinator Havilah Ferschweiler says:
Maria and Andrew are tireless and persistent advocates for their neighborhood. In 2009 they organized their first National Night Out party so their neighbors could get to know one another. This was their first step in helping build relationships in their neighborhood, as well as organizing neighbors around public safety concerns.
Not soon after that, they contacted their Crime Prevention Coordinator and shared concerns about possible illegal activity going on in their neighborhood. Their Crime Prevention Coordinator suggested organizing a block watch, and so they did! There was a good turnout of neighbors at the block watch meeting, where they expressed concern and frustration about the activity happening on their block.
Maria organized the block watch meeting several blocks away from their homes, so people would feel more comfortable participating in the meeting. During the meeting, neighbors watched anxiously as 4 or 5 police cars speed by with their lights flashing. Everyone worried that the officers were heading to their neighborhood. Later that night they found out that those cars were speeding to the problem house in their neighborhood, and unfortunately that wouldn’t be the last time they would experience such a thing.
For several months, the Youngs sent in weekly log forms, working with their neighbors, as well as their Crime Prevention Coordinator, their Neighborhood Response Team Officer, and their district officers to record and report the activities they were seeing on their street. Even through setbacks, the Youngs were dedicated and patient, yet persistent, and finally were able to get a local drug house closed.
Without their involvement and dedication, their neighbors would still be living with increased crime and fear of crime. It took several officers, neighbors, and Crime Prevention working and communicating together to help bring an end to the activity happening in their neighborhood. This is what community policing is all about and without the Youngs, the activity at that problem house would have continued. Maria and Andrew are model block watch organizers who brought their neighbors together to create a safer, more livable community, and we thanks them for all of their hard work!