MEXICO — The police department will host its second meeting on the neighborhood watch program at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Police Chief Roy Hodsdon said the first meeting on Dec. 3, attended by 11 citizens, along with Officer Rob Drouin and seven Police Explorers, was held during a time when a lot of people were on vacation or were away for the holidays.
He said he still working to line up speakers, who include instructors on neighborhood watches and community policing, as well as a reformed burglar who’s been out of the business for a few years and is willing to talk about what burglars look for.
At that initial meeting, Hodsdon noted that since 2010, the crime rate in Mexico has gone up 73 percent. Thefts and burglaries are increasing, including daytime burglaries.
“The idea with the neighborhood watch is that I need some help. There’s only one of us out there at any given time. Just that phone call to us, maybe just one chance out of 10, might be that one time we see the person to help us with that one little piece to solve a crime,” he noted.
“You guys know your area better than we do, and you know when there’s someone in your area that’s usually not around,” said Hodsdon.
“Criminals today will do anything to get away, especially a juvenile. We don’t want anyone to get hurt. We don’t want to see a vigilante group. It’s about neighbors talking to neighbors; taking care of each other,” he noted.
“Criminals are watching; targeting neighborhoods. They don’t work, so they have the time to look for key things to target on. Some even keep journals. We’ve had some areas where we’ve seemed to notice a lot of crime,” said Hodsdon, who reminded residents that theives want to pawn these items for drugs.
The areas the chief said earlier he’d like to see neighborhood watch groups would be Zone I (Middle, Kimball, Porter, Osgood), Zone II (Fourth, Fifth, Howard) and Zone III (Granite, Main). Hodsdon said they will also place signs proclaiming an area as a neighborhood watch zone.
Hodsdon said they have made a list of vacant houses to watch. “Vacant houses bring people to your neighborhood that you don’t want. If you know of a vacant house, let us know to put on the list.”
He said people should keep a list of bar codes and serial numbers of their valuables. Doing so will make it easier for police to recover them if they are taken. For items like tools, if a name is etched or painted on them, “they may be less like to be stolen.”
Hodsdon said they have put some tips on the Mexico Police Department’s Facebook page.