Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Keeping it all safe - Block Watch Meeting tells you how

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We don't always know when and what to do when keeping hearth and home safe - and that is where attending a BLOCK WATCH MEETING comes in. Cyndie Parks, from the Renton Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit makes it all so doable and talks you through whatever queries or problems that you might have. The best part about getting involved with your community is meeting the neighbors. When we can put a name and a face to those who live around us, we are more likely to want to have each other's back and pass along any pertinent information about what is going on along the block. In a time when finances have taken a downturn, petty crime and home break-ins is on the rise. Don't let you and your home become the victim to vandalization or theft.

This Block Watch Meeting is open to anyone who is interested. Come along and be informed, and maybe at a later date you can organize a meeting just for your street. Being informed never hurts anyone - it's the ignorance part that gets ya.

My funny story about the photo I am using in this posting is about some friends whose home I often admire and pass. One night, the moon was showing brightly, the wisteria draping over the neighbor's porch was looking so enticing, that although it was nearly 10 in the evening, being the shutterbug that I am, I pulled out the camera to snap a photo. It wasn't but a minute before the door flew open and the occupants of the pretty house were on the porch. Never shy about telling anyone to mosey along if their presence was disturbing the peace ir threatening to get ugly, these were the type of folks you would want to have on your block. They are polite but protective and not shy about calling 911 when needed. I felt so embarassed - I hadn't meant for the flash on the camera to go off and that is what had set them to fly off their cozy couch and outside to check on the scene. The situation was explained, another photo or two was taken and we called our "good nights" and parted. I won't be doing that to my neighbor's again anytime soon - I'll let them catch up on their evening viewing of Survivor in peace.

In Renton, we have a great response by the Renton Police Department for 911 calls. Suspicious behavior SHOULD be reported and the dispatch officer can prioritze the call for the police, so you never have to worry that your call about a car that has sat in the neighbor's drive for too long with the engine running will keep the police from handling a more serious crime. But until you pick up the phone and make the call, no one will ever know if there is a reason to be concerned about your area. So, come to the meeting, learn when to make the call and learn how to make your home and community a safe and welcoming place as the days become shorter and the nights, longer and much darker.


Renton Senior Activity Center
Second Floor
North Renton, WA

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