Neighborhood watch groups start in western GarCo
The Silt Neighborhood Watch group’s first meeting will be Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Center at 600 Home Ave. in Silt.
The Rifle downtown east group will meet for a cookie exchange on Dec. 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Rifle Branch Library.
As she started to see more break-ins and petty crimes in her town, Silt resident Melissa Moors wanted to help. Over the past six months she has worked with Silt Police Chief Mike Kite, and next Wednesday the two will host the first neighborhood watch group for those who want to help protect their town.
The first meeting will be held at the town center next to the Silt Library at 6:30 p.m. next Wednesday. Moors said she hopes to have 40 people at the event.
The newly formed group is still looking for funding for signs to let criminals know they are being watched.
“With social media and all the rumors that go around a small town, I want to dispel rumors and let the community know that my office is open,” Kite said.
Kite said he sees it as an opportunity for the town to get together each quarter to discuss issues and answer any questions residents might have.
“We want everyone to be looking out for each other and to look out for the town,” he said. “It gives everyone the opportunity to be part of the community.”
He added that vehicle break-ins and other petty crimes have been seen up and down the valley and he thinks that a neighborhood watch group could help.
“If more people are aware of the facts, it makes them better prepared to know what to look out for,” he said.
Kite urged residents to make sure cars and homes are locked, and don’t store anything in vehicles.
The group will be the second started in western Garfield County, as Rifle’s recently formed downtown east group hopes to fill a similar void in its community.
While Rifle Police Chief Tommy Klein has not seen an increase in petty crimes, he believes neighborhood watch groups could serve as a preventative measure for the community.
Headed by Rifle resident Gary Steinen, the Downtown East Neighborhood Watch group gives nearby Rifle resident a chance for people to connect with others in the community.
The group covers east downtown Rifle, from Ninth Street to First Street and from Railroad Avenue to Whiteriver Avenue. Klein hopes to see more interest from the community to expand groups to other areas of Rifle.
“We are definitely hoping to add more neighborhoods, but we will need citizen participation,” he said.
Klein also recommended residents join Nextdoor. A private social network for neighborhood community, Nextdoor gives Rifle residents a local outlet to share stories and receive crime prevention tips from their local police department.
He said Nextdoor Rifle has more than 100 members now and will send text alerts to residents during emergency.