Next Wednesday, Arkansas City Police Department officers will host a Neighborhood Watch informational meeting.

Arkansas City Police Department logoACPD officers have worked diligently for the last several months to restructure Arkansas City’s Neighborhood Watch program after seeing a rise in residential and automobile burglaries.

“(Neighborhood Watch) is something I saw that dwindled away to nothing in recent years,” said School Resource Officer Chase Hobart, the main coordinator of the program, “and I thought it was important to the community and to the quality of life of Ark City citizens that we get this reorganized and active once again.

“After seeing the (property crime) numbers, I knew I had to help do something.”

During this meeting — which will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Arkansas City Police Department, located at 117 W. Central Ave. — attendees will receive an information packet and view a presentation that discusses the roles and responsibilities of each person participating in the program, as well as things to keep a watchful eye on in their neighborhoods.

There also will be an opportunity to discuss and answer any questions residents might have about the program or concerns in the community.

“I would really like for a great turnout and hope that everyone who feels led to organize a (Neighborhood) Watch program in their neighborhood be present to receive information about it,” Hobart said.

“It will also give me an opportunity to speak with those interested in being a host for a block party during National Night Out, coming up the first Monday and Tuesday in October.”

He said this is part of a larger ACPD initiative to increase its community policing efforts, part of which relies upon “ordinary” citizens to supplement police patrols with their vigilance.

“Our best resource for reducing the number of crimes in Ark City is our citizens. We cannot be everywhere at the same time, and they know their neighborhoods better than we do,” Hobart said.

“They know what or who belongs and what or who doesn’t belong in their neighborhood. It has been proven that Neighborhood Watch helps combat crime and that is the ultimate goal here.”

Those who cannot attend the meeting, but would like more information, should email Hobart at chobart@arkansascityks.gov.

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