| NEWS of the Day - July 12, 2012
|on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...
We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...
From Google News
Neighborhood watch groups help build community
by Brenda Sullivan
Neighborhood watch groups provide two main benefits: neighbors who might not otherwise meet get to know and help each other, and neighborhoods form positive relationships with local police.
These are benefits the town of Manchester began to experience more than 20 years ago when the first group, then called the Spruce Street Area Block Watch, was formed.
Today, Manchester has three neighborhood groups. The Spruce Street watch was expanded and renamed the East Side Neighborhood Watch. About 15 years ago, the Green Manor Neighborhood Watch and the Townwide Neighborhood Watch were formed.
Around the same time, the Manchester Police Department launched its community policing initiative. Since then, officers are assigned specifically to patrol these neighborhoods and get to know the watch members.
The East Side Neighborhood Watch encompasses East Center Street, Autumn Street, Charter Oak, and Main Street back to East Center Street. The Green Manor Neighborhood Watch covers a section behind the Manchester Senior Center, and is bordered by East Middle Turnpike to Vernon Street to Woodbridge to Lydall Street. The Townwide Neighborhood Watch is for all other areas, according to Community Relations Officer Stacey Forish, who has overseen the groups for the last four years.
Neighborhood watch groups are very valuable to a local police department, Forish said. Members become more observant of activity in their neighborhoods and are more comfortable communicating with police – often providing tips that help solve crimes, she said.
Neighborhood watch members are encouraged to report anything suspicious. Part of the training provided by police is how to give a good description of a suspect, the activity they observed and, if applicable, a description of a car. “Direction of travel also is a big one, for us,” Forish said.
Sometimes incidents aren't reported because residents don't want to “bother” the police, Forish said. “They think police are ‘too busy,' or ‘have bigger things to do,' but it's the little leads that often help us solve cases,” Forish said.
For example, maybe someone's car is broken into and a small amount of money is stolen. The victim may not think this is worth reporting. However, he or she might be able to provide a timeframe related to a “spree” of car break-ins that same night, Forish said.
Do these tips help police catch suspects? “Yes, it happens all the time… neighbors are the eyes and ears of their community,” Forish said.
Leslie Frey, vice president of the East Side Watch, has been involved with that group since its inception about 22 years ago.
At that time, there were issues related to absentee landlords in a part of town characterized by a lot of rental housing. Forming the neighborhood watch was “a community effort to work with police and improve the area,” Frey said.
The group also fostered better relationships between neighbors by hosting social events such as spaghetti dinners, decorating contests, beach trips and picnics, Frey said.
Community policing also has closed gaps. “The police get to know the people living in the neighborhoods… they talk with people about quality of life issues… they become friends,” Frey said.
The group recently hosted an Imagine Main Street walk that coincided with Pride in Manchester Day. It proved so successful, it will now be a monthly event in coordination with the Downtown Manchester Special Services District – with art shows, music, vendors and more. The next two are scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 2 and Sept. 6.
It's not mandatory that neighborhood watch members attend monthly meetings, but they are the best opportunity to air concerns, get updates on incidents “whether it's about animal control or major events,” and to meet new people, Frey said.
All meetings are at 6:30 p.m. The East Side watch meets the first Thursday of the month at the Public Safety/Youth Center at 153 Spruce St. The Green Manor watch meets the third Wednesday of the month (except in July) at the Senior Center, 549 East Middle Turnpike. The Townwide watch meets the second Wednesday of the month, also at the Senior Center.
As Forish noted, at these meetings police can provide “accurate information [about incidents], instead of hearsay, which is important.”
Often there are speakers, such as representatives from the detective division, animal control, traffic, undercover narcotics, and the town's water and sewer departments.
Anyone interested in joining a neighborhood watch can just come to a meeting or contact the police liaison – as of the end of July, that changes from Forish to Officer Adam Marois, who can be contacted at 860-645-5568 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents are also invited to a free ice cream social hosted by the East Side Neighborhood Watch at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Public Safety/Youth Center, 153 Spruce St.
5 Arizona companies become 'IMAGE certified'
PHOENIX – Five Arizona businesses representing the steel fabrication, aviation, construction, landscaping and metal finishing industries became the latest employers to partner with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to strengthen their hiring practices, reduce fraud and ensure they employ a legal workforce.
Agate Steel, Ascent Aviation, CareScape, ChemResearch and Summit Builders were each certified as "IMAGE" or "ICE Mutual Agreement Between Government and Employers" partners during a ceremony Wednesday. IMAGE is a voluntary program that allows private industry to partner with ICE to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents.
"Our IMAGE partnerships enable us to recognize the highest level of employment integrity and foster best hiring practices," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of HSI Arizona. "When employers make a commitment to hire and maintain a lawful workforce, it's good for their business and it's good for the community."
Agate Steel, Inc., based in Scottsdale, was founded in 1973. The company manufactures pre-engineered metal buildings, provides structural steel fabrication services and operates a steel service center on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The company's core clients come from the power, mining and industrial sectors, as well as the federal government.
Ascent Aviation operates a narrow body maintenance and storage center located at Tucson International Airport. Taking advantage of the desert climate, Ascent provides aircraft heavy maintenance, line maintenance, modification services, transition services, storage, paint, disassembly and consignment parts sales to worldwide aviation customers.
CareScape, a Phoenix-based landscape management and construction firm, is the first landscape company in Arizona to join the IMAGE program. Founded in 1993, the company installs and maintains large-scale private and public landscapes, servicing multiple homeowner associations as well as maintaining the grounds of the U.S. Airways Center, CityScape and Downtown Phoenix Partnership.
ChemResearch Co., Inc., was founded in 1958 and is a certified, registered single-source metal finishing provider for the aerospace, defense, medical, electronics, automotive and commercial industries. The company's 55,000 square foot facility in Phoenix serves multiple regional machine shops as well as original equipment manufacturers such as Boeing, Honeywell, Goodrich, Parker Aerospace, Bell Helicopter, Rolls Royce and Space X.
Summit Builders was founded in 1986 and has completed major public and private construction projects in nine states. Notable Arizona projects include the Naco Border Patrol station in Bisbee, West Sixth student housing condominiums in Tempe and Silverstone continuing care retirement community in Scottsdale.
Undocumented workers create vulnerabilities in today's marketplace by presenting false documents to gain employment, completing applications for fraudulent benefits, and stealing identities of legal United States workers. To combat this, ICE initiated the IMAGE program in 2006.
As part of the IMAGE program, ICE provides private companies with education and training on proper hiring procedures, including use of employment screening tools such as E-Verify. IMAGE certified companies also undergo an audit of their I-9 forms to ensure current employees are eligible to work in the United States.
Arizona employers interested in learning more about IMAGE membership may call the ICE IMAGE coordinator in Phoenix at (602) 407-6155 or visit www.ICE.gov/image