Blockwatch Beat: Your Westside resource
It is that time again - summer safety tips and the reminders for keeping your property, yours.
The Blockwatch Beat would like to report that the area is still experiencing metal theft, from gutters to copper piping. If your gutters are stolen, please report it and replace them with plastic. That’s right, plastic. And put a notice on them telling the thieves that they are plastic and to leave yours alone!
Also continuing is the property theft originating from the crime of opportunity. Please keep your screen doors locked while you are out working; close your drapes at night, and make sure that you don’t leave anything in your vehicle. The criminals like to walk along, trying door handles and peering in windows of the vehicles. They are also looking for remotes for your garage. There was a crime in Westgate were a truck was broken into in the driveway and the criminals used the remote to open the garage. Remove the remote and your registration from your glove box; they know it’s there.
Now, some good news! The Summer Task Force Initiative is underway, being conducted by the Columbus Police Department. Also on the Hilltop is Community Crime Patrol. The young men and women of CCP are on the streets from 7 p.m. - 3 a.m. and work in conjunction with the police to fight crime. They either walk or ride bikes and can be seen all over the Hilltop. They will go to areas that need extra attention and give the police information that they need to help make arrests and keep the area more safe.
Another great way to get the police into the neighborhood comes from Sgt. Horton, filling in on a daytime shift in 19th precinct. He has asked his officers to park their cruisers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and walk the area from Highland to Hague - only if they have no calls or runs.
Don’t forget to use the city’s 311 call line! This excellent service is your number one stop for information or complaints to the city. The polite and patient operators will help direct you to the department or person that you need.
On a final note, there were six folks from the Westside who attended the latest Citizen Police Academy! Three of them are blockwatch coordinators: Jay McAllister, Kathy Hoke, and Lisa Grazier (myself). All graduated and now know more about the Columbus Police Department than they ever thought possible. It was a fascinating and enlightening nine weeks (27 hours total) and certainly gave impressive insights into our fine police department. Citizen Police Academy runs in the spring and fall. Officer Melissa Weems is in charge of the academy and does an excellent job of shepherding citizens through the program. It is highly recommended that you attend the free, candid look into the inner workings of the Columbus Police Department.
Please remember to be involved in your community! Step outside and talk over the fence or hang out on the front porch and get to know your neighbors. If we pull together as a community, from picking up trash to helping the police in an investigation and supporting local organizations, we can continue to make the Hilltop the best place to live in Columbus.
Lisa Grazier is coordinator of the Camp Chase Blockwatch.