A Neighborhood Watch program is in the planning stages for Wantagh and Seaford following a recent rash of burglaries and larcenies that hit both communities.
The (WSHA) arranged for a presentation from Nassau County Police Officer Dan Johannessen on what a Neighborhood Watch program would entail during its Wednesday night and provided a sign-in sheet for residents interested in getting involved. WSHA president Ella Stevens said she will help coordinate an initial meeting in the near future to help jumpstart a Wantagh-Seaford Neighborhood Watch group.
“There is a lot we can do in our community and this is the first step,” Stevens said at the end of Wednesday night’s WSHA meeting held at the .
Johannessen, a former Problem Oriented Policing officer in Nassau County’s First Precinct, gave a presentation on the advantages of starting a Neighborhood Watch during the WSHA meeting and emphasized that the program works best when there is a coordinator and block captains set up. Officer Johannessen said the idea of the program is not to have residents intervene in stopping crimes but to “become the eyes and ears” for the police.
“We need to know where the problems are,” said Johannessen, who offered to meet with the newly launched Wantagh-Seaford Neighborhood Watch at its first meeting.
Neighborhood Watch groups have also been set up in nearby communities Levittown and North Bellmore. Nassau County Legis. Dennis Dunne, R-Levittown, said during the WSHA meeting that Levittown’s Neighborhood Watch program has more than 200 people involved. The lawmaker, whose 15th district encompasses much of Wantagh and Seaford, urged people to attend the annual Levittown Neighborhood Watch meeting taking place inside the Division Avenue High School Auditorium Thursday night at 7 p.m. to get ideas of how the program can work.
Part of the impetus behind starting a Wantagh-Seaford Neighborhood Watch was a spike in residential burglaries that hit the local area late last year. Commanding Officer Inspector Mary Blanthorn attended the WSHA meeting and said there have been 11 residential burglaries in the Wantagh-Seaford area since November, but there has been some progress in thwarting the pattern.
“As soon as we see a pattern starting we try and address it,” Inspector Blanthorn said. “We do try and get on stuff immediately.”
For further information on getting involved with the planned Wantagh-Seaford Neighborhood Watch program, Stevens urges people to e-mail email@example.com.