Chamblee, GA, July 28, 2016 – by Todd Price, DECA President – When I first moved into my home in Wakefield Forest, I lived in my own sort of bubble. I didn’t do much research on crime rates in the area — the street and neighborhood seemed well-kept and felt “safe,” so any thoughts that it could be otherwise just didn’t come into my consciousness. Until one day when I received an email from a DECA neighborhood representative, inviting me to get involved in a revived Neighborhood Watch program. That’s when my eyes were opened and my little bubble was popped.
It was shortly after that when I started hearing about frequent home and car break-ins, the assaults that happened regularly along Plaster Road and Buford Highway, and other crimes. And I realized then that staying in a bubble is not good, clearly. I learned that all of us as neighbors have to work together to ensure our homes and communities remain safe. I joined others in the neighborhood to establish the Neighborhood Watch program and try to communicate the basic tenets of it to those in the area— “If something looks suspicious, call 911;” “Get to know your immediate neighbors and communicate;” etc. Soon we established a neighborhood-wide email list to send out alerts or other information about crime in the area. And it worked, for a while.
As time goes on, complacency takes hold. People move in and out. Email lists become out-dated. Bubbles begin to form.
So in the spirit of building and improving our community, I hope this message can be a reminder to each of you to re-engage with your neighbors. Reach out to your DECA rep and inquire about Neighborhood Watch programs in your area. If one doesn’t yet exist, work to get it going. And when feeling complacent, spend a few minutes reviewing local crime reports for motivation. And join in celebrating crime-free neighborhoods next month at a National Night Out Against Crime event.
For thirty-three years, neighborhoods and communities across the nation have celebrated National Night Out on the first Tuesday of August in an effort to strengthen ties between us all, promote relationships with local police departments, and strive to make our neighborhoods better and safer. This year, over 16-thousand communities will take part — and once again, DECA is committed to helping our neighborhoods sustain this important initiative.
Thank you all for your diligence in thinking of your neighbors, watching out for suspicious activities, and celebrating crime-free neighborhoods on Tuesday, August 2nd!
– Todd Price, Dresden East Civic Association (DECA) President