Neighborhood Watch group thriving

Published 3:26 am Saturday, January 24, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Silverbrook Manufactured Homes Community Neighborhood Watch held a meeting on Thursday afternoon to recognize their productive first year.
In addition to the members of the neighborhood group, there were also officials from local law enforcement agencies and the fire department in attendance
Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey, Berrien County Deputy Karen Klug, Niles Township Police Chief John Street and firefighters from the Niles Township Fire Department were all present at the meeting.
The group's organizer Pam Wickler began the meeting by welcoming everyone in attendance and giving a brief recap of some of the past year's accomplishments.
She reminded everyone that the group is in the middle of a food drive to assist food banks, which are currently at low levels.
Wickler also invited everyone to next month's meeting in which they will host a speaker from the American Red Cross, who will give a talk on being prepared for natural disasters.
Bailey then took over and commented on the importance of "building a relationship between communities and the police."
He cited this particular group as a good example of how neighborhood watch groups should function.
Niles Township Police Chief Street then stood up and said a few words about neighborhood watch groups.
He said most neighborhood watch programs come and go within a few months.
He also explained the importance of receiving information from the group because "there aren't enough cops to go around."
Deputy Klug, part of Berrien County's crime prevention unit, said this particular group was one of the best in the county because of their involvement and dedication.
She said she looks forward to working with them in the future and told them to keep up the good work.
Before the meeting broke up for refreshments, Wickler spoke on the importance of having neighborhood watch groups.