Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rural Neighborhood Watch

When word passed that there had been a number of thefts from unoccupied buildings in our rural community last week, it did not take long for the residents to get the word passed.  And when invited to a meeting with the Kent County Sheriff's Department at short notice,  about 80 people showed up Monday evening to learn exactly what has happened, what the Kent County Sheriff's Department is doing about it, and steps property owners can take to reduce the opportunity for theft.

The program was presented by Alpine Township Community Policing Officer Nate Ertle, who was assisted by Algoma Township Community Policing Officer  Tonya Walkons.  Deputy Walkons reviewed basic crime prevention and neighborhood watch principles, while Deputy Ertle filled everybody in on recent events, especially along Peach Ridge Ave.  It appears that the incidents in Alpine Township are not isolated, and that similar crimes occurred in adjacent townships in Ottawa County as well as in Townships to our north.  A significant number of attendees were  from Sparta and other neighboring communities.

Everyone was reminded how to make out a report, what to report, how to obtain a good description, and to call 911 in the event they see anything out of place.  They also learned how to access some helpful tools, such as how to do incident reporting on line, signing up for community alerts, and how to access and utilize crime mapping for anywhere in Kent County.  Also pointed out was Alpine Township's own Community Watch website,

Crime Mapping:

Kent County Sheriff’s Department 911
Non Emergency: 632.6100

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