Thursday, November 20, 2014

Watching Out for Your Neighborhood

At a recent town hall meeting hosted by our new Police Director which was taped by WBMA-TV, residents were given the opportunity to ask Director Sam DiMaio about changes planned for Bloomfield's Police Department. I asked him if any incidents from the department's weekly Police Blotter report were held back from the public, He stated that everything was included and revealed plans to add continuing comprehensive statistical updates to their public website in the near future(Many local stats can be found on the state police website. , but it requires scrolling through hundreds of NJ town stats.)

The issue of neighborhood watches was one of several issues raised by Maria Probst, Bloomfield Pulse Editor(photo). Since that initial meeting discussion threads on The Pulse and Citizens of Bloomfield Facebook groups have followed up on the idea by organizing several new neighborhood watch groups. Mike Lo has started a new Facebook crime watch group for the Halcyon Park area that is a good source of info for any interested neighborhood or block. Lo's FB site also has dates of many planned crimewatch meetings with the BPD throughout December.
A former lifelong resident,Vinnie Mossucco Esposito, posted this recollection of how neighborhood watches have worked in the past:
 " I lived in Bloomfield for 50+ years. In all those years we always had a neighborhood watch with a monthly meeting. We alternated homes for the monthly meetings. A PO would attend the monthly meetings. It was not only informative but it brought a sense of closeness and bonding between the neighbors. We all looked out for each other. The PO would ask us questions as we asked him many questions. He would advise us on safety, crime, do's and don't's along with giving us lessons in self defense. Our street was patrolled day and night. 
I'm a bit puzzled as to why some people seem to think this neighborhood watch is something new? Every town has a neighborhood watch. It's been in Blfd, like I said for over 50+ years I lived there. The biggest problem home owners and renters face is not having outside lights on from dusk to dawn. 
Also a (inside) light in your front window and never keep high bushes or trees covering your front windows. And never pull shades down, keeping your home in total darkness day and night. It appears you're not at home. Our street was lit up like Christmas all year round due to outdoor lights both front and back. And we knew every single neighbor and their kids. The best thing you can do instead of dividing the town between north/middle/south when it's ONE town only is get involved and make sure you become members of your neighborhood watch program and you'll begin to see more police patrolling your streets. Ban together instead of fighting which side of town is better then the other. It gets you no where fast!!! You're all ONE and ONE for ALL." 

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