NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH Group to discuss hot spots

AUSTINTOWN -- Township Police Chief Mark Durkin wants 2,500 eyes on his streets this year.
That's the number of eyes he hopes will help keep the neighborhoods safe if more and more citizens embrace the Neighborhood Watch program. Durkin said the group, which meets at 6:30 p.m. today in the Austintown Township Hall, will discuss hot spots for crime and review ways to keep people, homes, cars, and businesses safe.
"Let's say I have six officers on the street, that's 12 eyes," Durkin said. "If I have a Neighborhood Watch program, that's 2,500 eyes."
Austintown's force has shrunk from more than 40 to six in recent years. In the downsizing, one of the most effective Neighborhood Watch groups faded as the police officer assigned to lead it was reassigned, Durkin said.
"Austintown had one of the most successful Neighborhood Watch programs in the nation," Durkin said.
The new edition of the group, revived about a year ago with Austintown 2020's guidance, will receive advice, news and support by the police department, but will not be run by the officers, Durkin said.
"The Austintown Police Department in this whole thing is going to be resource," Durkin said.

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