Lincoln Village to beef up its block watch


By Sandi Latimer
Staff Writer

Safety ranks high among concerns of Lincoln Village area residents and one resident is working toward getting the community involved to make their neighborhood safer.

When Dave Donofrio ran for Prairie Township trustee in 2015, he went door-to-door, meeting residents and asking them what mattered most.

“Safety ranked high,” he said.

With that in mind, Donofrio has begun working to relaunch the Lincoln Village Block Watch.
The block watch is a subcommittee of the Lincoln Village Residents Association but had dwindled to a one-person show, said Donofrio, who serves as secretary of the association.

Taking information he gathered while conducting his competitive, but losing, campaign and from social media, especially NextDoor, Donofrio has developed an extensive mailing list.

Response to the first of what has become monthly meetings surprised him.

“I thought I’d see three or four people, but 40 to 50 people turned out to see what we had in mind,” he said.

While the old Lincoln Village Block Watch seemed concentrated within a few blocks of Lincoln Village North, he is working to expand it to include Lincoln Village South, Garden Heights, New Rome, and National Pike Little Farms. That includes the area from the Conrail tracks on the north, I-270 on the east, Sullivant Avenue on the south and Hilliard-Rome Road on the west.

This new group has plans for at least three events in 2017: a spring membership drive, National Night Out on Aug. 1 and an Effective Witness presentation in October by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

These events are in addition to the traditional block watch activities of being on the lookout for what looks like suspicious people in the neighborhood and reporting any suspicious activities. Fluorescent green vests are now available for participants to wear while they are patrolling their neighborhood.

Relaunching and expanding the former block watch program has the backing of Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Erica Russell who works the far westside of the county. She has helped form such programs in other areas of the county. She also led last October’s Effective Witness Program that teaches participants what to look for in a suspect, information and descriptions that law enforcement can use in apprehending suspects.

In the spring membership drive, block watch members will be going door-to-door handing out flyers, explaining the program and seeking donations of either financial or participatory.

Plans are still being developed for National Night Out which is designed to bring neighbors together in light-hearted activity. Members will be seeking support from both the community and businesses.

Information on activities of the block watch program can be found at under the block watch button. Regular meetings of the block watch are held the fourth Monday of the month at the Westland Area Library. All residents of the area are encouraged to participate.


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