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Community Watch volunteers heighten awareness

Posted 2/17/2012   Updated 2/17/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Ryan Throneberry
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

2/17/2012 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Neighborhood Community Watch Program has been an integral part of keeping the joint base housing community safe since the program's inception in September 2010.

The group aims to improve the installation's quality of life by effectively involving residents in the neighborhood watch program and area patrols.

The idea for a community watch program was developed by Angel Hartman, MDL Neighborhood Watch president after discussing various issues and concerns with spouses waiting at the bus stop with their children.

"We discussed issues like quality of life, bus transportation and overall safety," said Hartman. "From there, we realized a solution for many of these problems would be a community watch program."

Patrolling the streets comes in many forms for the group. Community members keep their neighborhood safe by keeping their eyes peeled when walking their dogs or jogging.

Deterrence is key to the success of the program because it provides community members and their deployed counterparts with peace of mind.

"Deployed service members can put their minds at ease about their family's safety with the neighborhood watch program working with Joint Base Police Department," said Hartman. "It is just another added measure to help keep their minds focused on their assigned missions down range."

The group continuously monitors the housing community for suspicious activity and reports to the Joint Base Police Department. The JBPD and the North Hanover Police Department work together to respond, track and pursue leads to help make the neighborhood watch program successful.

"The program definitely deters the offender's willingness to commit small criminal acts because they now see us patrolling the streets," said Michelle Hook, Falcon Courts North resident and wife of Tech Sgt. Brian Hook, 87th Civil Engineering Squadron. "The program works, but we could always use more volunteers."

Neighborhood Community Watch program member applicants must be 18 years or older with no criminal background. Applicants must complete training and receive approval from JBPD and the Board of Directors of the neighborhood watch. Members of the program include active-duty, military family members, retired military, DOD civilian and retired DOD civilian members of JB MDL.

Call 723-6563, email or visit the MDL Neighborhood Community Watch Facebook page to volunteer of for more information.

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