By jeanne starmack
The Campbell Pride Project is calling its first Block Watch meeting a success, said an organizer of the community group.
“We had 25 to 30 people,” said Nick Galantis, adding that all four wards of the city were represented.
The group met about establishing a Block Watch program in the city last week at the Community Center in Roosevelt Park, and will meet again there at 6 p.m. Nov. 9.
Campbell Detective Sgt. John Rusnak, who spoke at the first meeting, is expected to return with more information, Galantis said Monday.
“We’re digging deeper,” he said, adding that the group will likely name leaders for the block watch at the November meeting.
The program will use volunteers who can remain “totally anonymous,” he said.
Campbell’s Block Watch program could be organized a number of ways, said Rusnak, who will be the group’s liaison with the police department.
He said that for now, it will be organized by ward, though block watches could pop up for individual neighborhoods depending on how many people get involved.
He said the simple definition of a block watch is a group of concerned residents who keep an eye on neighborhoods and report suspicious findings to the police.
“I think it’s absolutely wonderful they’re helping out,” Rusnak said.
“One of the things block watches are best at is helping police with burglaries,” he continued. “[Also] suspicious vehicles, suspicious people and property crimes,” he added.
Galantis said the Campbell Pride Project’s first cleanup was also a success. The group picked up trash and tires, mowed grass and cut weeds along parts of Coitsville Road and Wilson Avenue Oct. 8.
He said about 75 people, more than was expected, showed up.
“It was phenomenal, the turnout,” he said. “People were stopping their cars and thanking us.”
He said the group plans another cleanup Nov. 5, continuing on Wilson and Coitsville. It meets at the city hall on Tenney Avenue and breaks up into smaller groups there.