We frequently talk about watching out and helping out as we work to keep our neighbors and our communities safe. And a suburb of Washington, DC, is taking that principle of crime prevention very seriously.
The police department of suburban Cheverly, MD, is going to issue portable two-way radios to 20 volunteers as part of the Cheverly Watch Program, according to a recent story in The Washington Post. Funding comes from a $12,000 grant from the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.
The volunteers will be expected to use the radios to report any crimes or suspicious behavior they see directly to the town’s 13 police officers. Volunteers will be expected to attend a training program, learn radio protocols, and how to describe suspects.
Police Chief Buddy Robshaw says he is looking for volunteers who are ideally home all the time—preferably retired folks. He would like to have ten who are home during the day and ten who are home in the evening.
Cheverly has already seen a drop in crime in the last year. While the number of burglaries has been almost the same to date—195—as last year, vehicle and other thefts are down, as is violent crime. Robshaw told The Post. “I just want to keep [the crime rate] going in the right direction: down.” One of the main goals of the radio program is to reduce the number of burglaries.
Thanks to the imagination of Chief Robshaw, Cheverly will soon have some new eyes and ears on the lookout for crime. It’s an example that others may want to follow.