PHOENIX - Hoping to make “our village as safe and enjoyable as we can possibly make it,” Village Administrator James Lynch will lead an organizational Neighborhood Watch question-and-answer session at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 in the Sweet Memorial building at 455 Main St.

Originally inspired to consider a Neighborhood Watch by a few car break-ins, Lynch said there were “no serious incidents in any particular part of the village. A few car break ins here and there and the normal ‘I think there are drugs going on in that place’ comments, but nothing overly serious.”

Nevertheless, “as the village administrator I am involved in all aspects of the community from code enforcement to the local police department.”

He is involved in the not-for-profit group, Phoenix Rising, along with many other community events that take place in Phoenix. Lynch said he works closely with the Phoenix School District and the newly-formed School & Community Partnership program. All those aspects of his life led him to believe a Neighborhood Watch program may be just what his village needs.

“I am looking to find a street captain for every street in our village. Our village is approximately 2 square miles, so I am confident I can find someone on every village street to be part of the neighborhood watch program.”

Lynch said he has been made aware of community interest in the project “to a certain degree. I have personally spoken to many residents at various events and have mentioned the idea and have received positive response. Recently through social media the response to the idea was positive and now response to the date of a meeting has been even more positive.”

Asked exactly what does a Neighborhood Watch entail, Lynch responded, “Starting a Neighborhood Watch program may seem like a large task to many people. Once there has been a determination made that a watch is needed, a preliminary meet and greet meeting is set up and hopefully interested residents show up. The Neighborhood Watch motto is ‘We Look Out For each Other.’

“I do not want residents to get carried away and feel that they would be an extension of our Police Department. Simply an extra set of eyes and ears out on the streets looking out for the best interest of all our neighbors, just a little bit of information on suspicious activity in an area can potentially solve some issues before they get out of hand.

“Once the initial meeting is set up and key individuals are put into place, constant communication as well as regularly scheduled meetings are held and if everyone involved is working together, all will benefit.

“I am very confident in my community. I feel extremely optimistic that once a program is put into place and the village board of trustees, police department and residents are all working together to improve our quality of life within our village, only better things can happen for all.

“I have invited Russ Mitchell from the Onondaga County Neighborhood Watch association to attend our initial meeting on Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. to educate everyone who attends as well as answer all of the who, how, what and why questions that may come up related to a quality Neighborhood Watch Program.”

Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP. Lynch can be reached at 315-695-1307.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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