Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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July 18th, 2013

Edwards Stepping Up Public Safety

Sullivan County legislator Cora Edwards, who heads the county’s Public Safety Committee, is on a mission to combat crime in Sullivan County and she needs our help.

Edwards is convinced that the eyes and ears of law abiding citizens goes a long way in helping law enforcement solve, report, and prevent crimes.

To get the message out on how Neighborhood Watch groups can assist law enforcement, Edwards began holding “Stepping Up to Safety” forums. The first one was held last Tuesday and the next is scheduled for September 18, 2013.

Edwards gathered every law enforcement agency for her initiative to assist in putting a halt to all the burglaries spreading across Sullivan County.

Edwards said purpose of the “Stepping Up to Safety” meetings “is for people to look at the things that are within their power to control, how can they work with law enforcement in a more organized way and build better relationships between communities and law enforcement.”

District Attorney James Farrell concerned over the spike in burglaries told me, “In the past, many of the burglaries have been burglaries to seasonal residences discovered when homeowners returned. Now we are seeing a trend where burglars are becoming more brazen and targeting year-round occupied residences stealing jewelry and valuable electronics. These homes are being targeted during the daytime hours when owners are gone at work. We believe in some instances burglars are watching people leave to ensure no one is home.”

“A home should be a sanctuary from outside influences and a place where a family should feel safe and secure,” Farrell emphasized.

While Farrell notes law enforcement is apprehending and prosecuting more burglars, he stresses the need for the public to help solve these crimes. “We need neighbors to look out for neighbors and to call the police if they see something out of the ordinary or suspicious. Far too often when the investigators and detectives look into these cases a neighbor did see something but did not do anything about it. We need folks to look out for each other and take note of information that is critical in finding the culprit such as a make and model of any vehicles and the plate number. Law enforcement’s most important asset in these cases is the observant citizen.”

Sergeant Luis Alvarez of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office noted that people who live in a community know their neighbors. “You know who lives there, you know what vehicles should be there and that information is very valuable.”

With all of the burglaries being reported, we all need to be vigilante. We need to know our neighbors, and our police officers. Being such a rural county spread out for miles and miles, and manpower being cut, we must all do our fair share to assist law enforcement. They simply cannot do it alone.

If we as neighbors and citizens of Sullivan County take the time to watch over a neighbors home when they are not there, it can really make all the difference.

If there is a strange vehicle in your area that doesn’t look like it is supposed to be there, call your local police department and they will investigate.

All residents of Sullivan County should also join the facebook group “Sullivan County Neighborhood Watch.”

The intent of “Sullivan County Neighborhood Watch” is to help law enforcement bring crime under control through Community awareness. Tips, ideas, news, and methods that we can use to protect ourselves, families, and our property are posted regularly on the site.

A successful Liberty based neighborhood watch group is being used as the model for these forums.

Edwards said the statistics are there to that prove that neighborhood watch programs deter crime. “The numbers will show. The proof will be in the pudding because as one of the neighborhood watch groups that’s been involved for four years has shown that in that time, they haven’t had any burglaries.”

The “Stepping Up to Safety” goal is to make available to all Sullivan County residents the information needed on how to create neighborhood watch programs, as well as giving members of our law enforcement community the opportunity to discuss crime prevention and awareness.

For further information, please contact Edwards at (845) 807-0435 or the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office at (845) 794-7100.

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in the Sullivan County Post

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