Police: Block watch groups effectively lowering crime rates

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Concerned residents all over Toledo have been partnering with police to crack down on crime.

Police say block watch groups can be a criminal's worst nightmare. TPD Sgt. Joe Heffernan says they are one of TPD's top tools to fight and prevent crime in the city and statistics show they work.

Block watch groups don't fight crime, though. They are the eyes and ears of the police. It's the members' job to report any crime or suspicious activity they see. Heffernan says if there is a block watch sign in a neighborhood, it always means lower crime.

"If we know who's committing the crimes in your neighborhood, no matter how big or small they are, then we can do something about it," Heffernan said. "We as a police department know that we can make the biggest difference in neighborhoods when we have community involvement."

Willys Parkway and Point Place are two neighborhoods where block watch programs have been working hard to keep their communities safe.

"People in Point Place watch out for their neighbors," said Toledo City Councilwoman Lindsay Webb. "Their neighborhood and their community matter a great deal to them. We are a deeply committed group of residents in Toledo who look out for each other."

In the past year, TPD has beefed up its community service sector, tripling the size of the department's officers. One of their main functions is to recruit and develop block watch programs.

For information on how to join a block watch group or start a group of your own, visit the TPD website.

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