Deerfield residents start neighborhood watch
A dozen residents of Deerfield gathered in the community center Thursday to organize and implement a neighborhood watch program. According to organizer Terry Forgey, there was a neighborhood watch program in the community back in the 1980s, but it fizzled out.
The evening began with a discussion about the National Crime Prevention Council and some of the resources available there. The council offers help in the way of brochures, home safety surveys, home and neighborhood safety training resources and more. A number of residents said they thought it was a good resource that should be used.
Forgey told the group they had the full backing of Sheriff Jason Mosher, but he could not attend the meeting because of prior obligations. Forgey did deliver some statistics from the sheriff's office. He said that since January of this year, there had been 13 calls from Deerfield to the sheriff's office to report a suspicious person in a vehicle.
Forgey said there had been many reports of careless and imprudent driving and a number of burglaries; Forgey's own home being a burglary target. Assaults were also on the list. "All the burglaries are people we know -- sadly," he said. Sooner or later, it's going to happen again, he told the group.
He also said the damage done to a home is sometimes worse than the cost of what is stolen. He said it's gotten to the point where he is worried about his kids. He urged everyone to video their belongings, record serial numbers and mark items without numbers.
Forgey talked about how he and some other residents had begun patrolling the area in the evenings. Forgey said he stayed close to town, but one resident made a five-mile trip watching for suspicious activity, vehicles or people. Just the night before, Forgey discovered a leaking anhydrous ammonia tank in the city. It was decided that patrolling should be done in pairs.
The group discussed getting organized and informally elected Forgey as coordinator. Janet Morris took notes during the meeting. There was a discussion on getting signs for the city, the surrounding area and any cars that might be patrolling the area. Forgey said the city would donate $100 toward the purchase of signs. Keilah Forgey took a list of names and the number and types of signs and window decals each participant wanted to order for themselves.
Forgey reiterated some things the sheriff had told him.
"We can try to be out there more for you but you have to call when we aren't."
He said Mosher told him, "we don't know what's out of place. The people of the town know what doesn't belong," Forgey repeated that all it takes is a phone call.
"Keep your eyes open and don't be afraid to call."