THE CAPTAIN'S CORNER

BEING AWARE
ArticleID: 65
Date: 1/15/2001
Written By: Captain Jackson

BEING AWARE
by Captain Jackson

Recently, while patrolling the downtown district, I checked the front door of a friend`s business. As it was unlocked, I walked in. "Hello, Hello!" I shouted. I looked around a minute when he finally showed up.

"Captain, how did you get in here? I was just leaving" (out the back door entrance). It`s simple, he had forgotten to lock the front door. Had it been a few minutes later, the alarm would have been set and he would have been on his way home, only to have to return and explain to the authorities why their time was wasted. But what if he didn`t have an alarm system, and what if it hadn`t have been a crime fighter making his rounds? Alarm system or not, my friend could have lost far more than an insurance company might replace. Neighborhood Watch is much the same way.

A woman who lives in one of the more "upscale" areas recently told me about how "they" had Neighborhood Watch. But, when asked, she knew none of the details.

"No," I said, "you have signs. If your neighborhood had the program in force, you would be a part of the program."

After last summer`s daytime gangland style murder in Jackson, many people have wished to get involved in this program. A number have even contacted me about how to get involved. And the answers are more easy than the questions. It`s simple, to start with become aware of your surroundings.

The local police authorities have literature and will be more than happy to work with area groups to promote this program, but its success depends on individual people being a little more observant. I asked this woman if she knew most of her neighbors. Yes. Do you take walks in the evening? Ditto. Do you have a cellphone? Oh, yes. Then just look a little closer when you take your walk and don`t be afraid to use that cellphone to call 911.

Whether working directly with the local police or not, if you see something suspicious, report it. People are always complaining to me that the authorities are "never around when we need them". But the authorities are not mind readers. They are not psychics. If you don`t let them know what`s going on in your neighborhood, how can you expect anything be done?

This is a situation were we must all come together and be on the lookout for criminal activites and work with not only the people who live around us, but the authorities. If we wish to feel safe when we take in the evening we must all come together and be a part of this.

Copyright 2001, CFC


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