Neighborhood Watch Gets Strong Support at Wolcott Crime Prevention Meetings

    By on December 18, 2015
    • Wolcott Village Mayor Christopher Henner and, across the table, Clerk-Treasurer Lori Tyler listen intently during the community crime prevention meeting at noon Dec. 8 at Wolcott Elks Lodge.

    • Wayne County Sheriff’s Department Deputy William Benedict told those attending the community crime prevention meetings about the Neighborhood Watch program. “We do our best, but you are our eyes and ears,” Benedict said.

    About 20 percent of those attending recent community crime prevention meetings knew their subject well, having identified themselves in a survey as victims of a break-in.

    A total of 11 of the 57 people attending the two Dec. 8 meetings indicated they had experienced a break-in.

    The two meetings, one at noon and one at 6:30 p.m. at Wolcott Elks Club, were sponsored by Wolcott Rotary, Wolcott Area Chamber of Commerce, Wolcott Lioness Club, and LAKESHORE NEWS, in response to the rash of break-ins that have been plaguing the Village of Wolcott.

    Village Mayor Chris Henner, Village Clerk and Treasurer Lori Tyler attended the noon meeting, as did North Rose-Wolcott School Supt. Stephan Vigliotti, Sr., and two representatives of Rep. John Katko, Communications Director and Counsel Erin O’Connor and District Director Thomas Connellan.

    “I want this place to be here for my kids,” Henner said when introduced.

    Neighborhood Watch

    A major emphasis of the meeting was Neighborhood Watch. Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy William Benedict attended both the noon and 6:30 p.m. meetings to explain the program, which he has helped initiate in several Wayne County communities.

    Benedict encouraged those at the meetings to call 911 if they see something suspicious.

    “We do our best, but you are our eyes and ears,” Benedict said.

    Benedict talked of the steps needed to start a Neighborhood Watch program in the village, including designating a chair for monthly or bi-monthly meetings, and choosing an association president and block captains.

    “The important thing is you are communicating with everybody,” he said.

    He emphasized calling 911 for suspicious activities, and spoke against Neighborhood Watch participants trying to step in and stop a crime in progress on their own.

    “Don’t take matters into your own hands,” he said.

    Those signing in to the meeting were asked to fill out a survey about whether they are interested in participating in Neighborhood Watch. Survey results show 33 of the 57 attending the meeting were interested, or 58 percent.

    Wolcott Rotary’s crime prevention committee will contact those who indicated interest to arrange a Neighborhood Watch organizational meeting.

    Staying Safe

    Andy DeMay, a Rotarian and member of Wolcott Rotary’s crime prevention committee, urged people to have good “situational awareness” and to compete a security assessment of their homes.

    “You can find these on a computer,” DeMay said of security assessment templates. “You can also contact your insurance agent. There are a lot of things you can do to gain a discount from your insurance provider.”

    DeMay provided information on security system installers and locksmiths.

    Security, he said, does not have to be expensive. He said simple steps such as keeping doors and windows locked, good interior and exterior lighting, and posting your property are inexpensive steps that can be taken.

    And it’s not just Wolcott. The problem is widespread enough to make many feel unsafe in their own homes.

    “It’s spooky out there,” Benedict said. “It’s sad, and it’s spooky.”

    Join in on the conversation.