TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - "Crime prevention is a community responsibility. It is simply not on law enforcement's shoulders," said Toledo Police Chief George Kral.
The Chief Kral and Mayor of Toledo Wade Kapszukiewicz are urging for your help to prevent crime in light of 2018's violent streak.
They want to see citizens joining in on neighborhood groups like Toledo Neighborhood Block Watch. It's neighbors coming together to create change, spark ideas and share information.
"Block watch is about empowering your neighborhood," said Jane Mullikin, chairman of the Toledo Neighborhood Block Watch. "It's about empowering the neighborhood so that when you have a problem, you know what to do about it. You know where to go and you know who to call."
Yellow block watch signs posted throughout the entire city of Toledo. There are currently 67 block watch groups, but the mayor and chief of police would like to see that number increase to 80 groups.
"I think increasing the number of block watches to that level would be a good opportunity to not just to get more feedback from the community, but to give citizens an opportunity to engage," said Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.
Leaders of block watch say getting to 80 groups shouldn't be difficult.
"With the encouragement and the commitment from all these community leaders I don't see that being a problem," said Florence McLennan, vice chair of the Toledo Neighborhood Block Watch. "I think we will do very well."
They have plans to network and spread their message farther and are looking for people of all ages to join them.
While city leaders are calling for more block watch groups, some have actually left the organization because of differences. They instead created neighborhood watches. The goal of these groups is essentially the same, to make Toledo better.
"This is our time for the city to shine and we all have to work together and no matter if you're a block watch leader or a neighborhood organization," said Patrick Harvey, neighborhood watch leader of the Glendale to Glanzman group. "The citizens need to find somebody that they fit in with and join them."
"In essence be part of the solution," said Chief George Kral during Monday's press conference.
Both neighborhood groups encourage you to get involved however you can. Whether liking a Facebook page or attending a meeting, it's important to not sit silent.
You can learn more about Toledo Neighborhood Block Watch Program here or call the community service bureau at 419-245-1119.