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True Story: Numbers prove neighborhood crime watch successful

This is out of the US and impacts us all

Lauren Handley, Portage, Cambria County PA

6 October 2015

Reporter Lauren Handley reported this story in October of 2015. The reason I thought this would benefit us in Alliston is that the population of the city in question was 2,638 in 2010! Crime isn’t just in the big cities. It can happen anywhere.

Portage, Cambria County, Pa. – There are neighbors keeping an eye out for suspicious activity in Portage, and the police chief said their efforts are paying off.

The Portage Crime Watch helps the local police keep tabs on suspicious activity in these neighborhoods.

“They can’t be everywhere, and that’s why we’re here to help,” said Portage Crime Watch President Millie Smith.

In a letter Chief Edward Miller wrote to the crime watch, he said that the recent tips helped them arrest a pharmacy employee who was stealing pills from the pharmacy.

He noted, “Our criminal incidents now are probably only 20% of what they were 3-7 years ago.”

Watch members like Smith said the key is to keep your eyes and ears open and don’t take the law into your own hands.

“You could be setting on your porch and you could see something,” Smith said. “You know, all of a sudden you’re seeing vehicles you haven’t seen before. Or you see a porch light on that’s not been on before and it’s on all night or on during the day and off at night. These are signs that, you know, this is pick up and delivery. ”

Chief Miller said the hard work of these volunteers helps get the job done and keeps the community safer.

“We only have one officer on at a time and he has only one set of eyes and in a car he won’t be able to hear anything going around,” Miller said. “But if you have a neighborhood watch and you have some 50 people out, that helps a heck of a lot and – believe me – criminals are aware of that also.”

Since the start of the Portage Crime Watch, the “Push out the Pusher” signs have been popping up in communities all over our area. In fact, Cresson may soon be getting their very own crime watch with the help of the Portage Crime Watch President.

“If you have 30 homes and of those 30 homes 10 keep an eye, be it through security systems or neighbourhood walks, you will prevent more crimes than you realise. Crimials talk you know that? They stay away from areas they know are tougher than others.” – Det. N. Stallson

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