Editorial: Neighborhood watch groups signal positive change for community

  • Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 8:52 a.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, June 28, 2013 8:53 a.m.

The neighborhood watch signs found across the Aiken are a refreshing reminder. When we work together for the common good, we can see valuable and consequential change in our community.

They instill trust, while also promoting the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We wished more communities would live by those guidelines.

One of the most community conscious groups in the area is the Crosland Park Neighborhood Association.

The organization hosts a variety of events in the neighborhood, including holiday get-togethers, potluck dinners and health fairs, all with the goal of improving the lives of Aiken residents.

Through the efforts of the group, the neighborhood has seen a decrease in crime over the years. It costs only $5 to join the organization, which helps to cover the cost of those community-driven events.

Groups like the one in Crosland Park also greatly benefit the efforts of the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

Serving as a liaison, neighborhood leaders can weed out those individuals or groups negatively impacting the community. That makes Public Safety’s job easier and improves the lives of those living in a particular neighborhood.

According to Public Safety, it takes only three to four people to start up such a community watch organization.

With only a handful of leaders coming together, profound changes can be generated in both the short-term and long-term.

We encourage more neighborhoods around Aiken to voice their concerns, promote safety and look for ways to build and bind our community.

We also applaud Public Safety’s efforts to support community watch groups.

Cynthia Mitchell, neighborhood services coordinator for Aiken Department of Public Safety, said officers are even willing to visit those organizations and discuss crime patterns in a particular neighborhood.

Working cohesively helps to move our community forward, while ensuring a brighter outlook for future generations. Youth particularly learn from those around them, and seeing how one neighbor lends a hand to another can only help to re-enforce positive behavior.

We increasingly hear that people are becoming more self-contained. The more that neighbors don’t get to know each other, the less trustworthy they tend to be.

Watch groups are obviously not the only medicine for corrosive elements in our neighborhoods. The benefits they provide, however, carry far reaching improvements and can truly make a difference.

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