Weekly Feature

2012-01-18 / Editorial

Help police by being a good neighbor

Bee Editorial

The Town of Amherst Police Department serves as an outstanding big brother to the community in terms of providing law enforcement and public safety.

In the past 10 days, there have been four reported burglaries in the Snyder area of town. Although no one was injured, whoever is committing the crimes was able to steal cash and electronics after gaining entry to the homes through unlocked doors and windows.

We believe that a key to helping the police and perhaps preventing crime is being a good neighbor — perhaps through a Neighborhood Watch committee.

The organizations help to establish bonds among residents, reduce home invasions and other types of residential crimes, and improve relationships between police and the communities they serve.

We urge residents to interact with their neighbors, learn how to make their homes secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report suspicious activities or crimes to the police.

Neighborhood Watch also helps build pride and serves as a springboard for efforts that address other community concerns such as domestic violence, drug use and recreation for youth.

Another great aspect of such a group is that anyone — a concerned resident, community organization or law enforcement agency, among others — can establish a Neighborhood Watch.

All the individual, organization or agency has to do is organize a small planning committee of neighbors to discuss needs, the level of interest and community problems. The Eggertsville Community Organization regularly keeps area residents updated on public safety issues.

For people who would like to learn more about law enforcement in Amherst and gain insight into how to prevent crime in their neighborhood, the Amherst Police Department annually sponsors a Citizen Police Academy beginning in February and continuing each Tuesday for 13 weeks until May.

Classes are usually held from 7 to 10 p.m. each week at Amherst Police Headquarters, 500 John James Audubon Parkway. The academy is open to adults who either reside or work in the Town of Amherst.

Although the Citizen Police Academy is booked for this year, residents may request application forms for the 2013 installment in the fall. We feel this is a great program that allows residents a behind-the-scenes look into the duties of police officers. The knowledge that people from the community can gain from such an experience is extraordinary.

For more information about the program, visit www.amherst.ny.us.

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