By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — As of this week, more than 2,700 residents are participating with Taylor on Watch, a two-and-a-half-year-old program where residents help keep each other safe.
Taylor authorities said participants are working with their area coordinators, walking their neighborhood streets in designated area and reporting ongoing quality of life issues. Police, however, have a goal to sign up 5,000 people.
Resident Deborah Beamer said she likes the program concept. While she isn’t signed up, she tries to do her part.
“I check on my elderly neighbors and I watch and listen for things out of the ordinary,” Beamer said.
The group held a meeting Sept. 15, where Police Chief Mary Sclabassi and officers talked to residents about home security and offered tips to keep their neighborhoods safe. About 45 residents attended the event.
Dawgs on the Run provided free hot dogs, chips and drinks for those attending and Culver’s gave out free ice cream.
The city is divided into four areas. Area 1 is bordered by Van Born, Telegraph, Goddard and Inkster roads and the contact Christina Niewola. People living in Area 2, which is bordered by Van Born, Telegraph, Goddard and Pelham roads, may contact Don Honaker and Lisa Garrett. For Area three, bordered by Goddard, Telegraph, Pennsylvania and Inkster roads, the contact is Lisa Maze. Area 4 is bordered by Goddard, Telegraph, Pennsylvania and Allen roads, and the contact is Amy Summers Atwood.
Residents are to call 734-287-6611, and their area leader will return their call.
The program is meant to engage the community in crime prevention and was started by Mayor Rick Sollars and the Police Department.
Sollars said there was a lot of discussion about neighborhood watch activity and he began meeting with Police Department officials and the auxiliary police. The meetings helped create Taylor on Watch. He said it is about being good neighbors, watching out for each other and keeping people safe and secure.
Sclabassi said it is a good program and is pleased with the number of residents who have taken part. Sclabassi would like to see the department reach the 5,000 goal.
She said the police cannot be everywhere, all the time.
“We need eyes and ears in the community,” she said. “We are constantly aided by what concerned residents see and hear. Given the proper education in what to look for, they can make their own neighborhoods safer. It’s all a learning process.”
The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Lakes of Taylor, 25505 Northline Road, for a “Chat with the Chief.” Coffee and desserts will be provided. For more information, call 734-287-6611.
(Tereasa Nims can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)