Reporting helps solve crimes

MONTE VISTA—Good rapport between the police department and community members is helping solve crimes in Monte Vista. During July’s Neighborhood Watch meeting held Monday, July 16, Police Chief John Rosecrans said the rapport is helping with the reporting of crimes.
“Because of this, arrests have been made and problems have been solved “because the person is no longer on the street,” stated Neighborhood Watch organizer Margot Alexander.
Discussion on the civilian-run San Luis Valley Crime Stoppers revealed later in the meeting that reporting has indeed helped. “The chief reported last night at city council that they had received a Crime Stopper’s tip, so it is already working,” said City Councilor Kathy Lorenz.
Rosecrans, she added, has been working hard to make the newly reorganized program a success. “If anyone is interested in helping with this organization, he needs a few more committee members to round out the group and add another layer of crime prevention to our community.” SLV Crime Stoppers covers the entire Valley and soon Crime Stopper banners donated by Coors will be posted around town. People can report crimes anonymously by calling 719-589-4111. A code is given to the caller and a reward will be given if information results in solving a crime. A local Crime Stoppers website will also soon be available for reporting as well.
Judge David L. West discussed the potential for a police academy to help teach the public about the laws, how the police work and obstacles that can hamper the crime-solving process. The six to eight-week course would, upon completion, enable individuals to help the city with traffic, parades and setup and cleanup of events.   
Monte Vista Neighborhood Watch T-shirts were given to meeting attendees. Members Esther Morford and Elizabeth Shank organized the T-shirt project and helped with the design, aimed at bringing awareness to Neighborhood Watch block captains and the group’s crime-prevention efforts.   
The annual Neighborhood Watch National Night Out is scheduled for Aug. 7 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in Chapman Park. “We will have a table manned by block captains and anyone else wishing to help,” Lorenz said.
Neighborhood Watch members will give out cookies in exchange for email addresses from folks interested in participating in the program. There will also be food, games, a drawing for a free bicycle as well as fun opportunities like a dunk tank and face painting. Local HazMat workers, ambulance volunteers, firefighters and police will also be there.
“All is looking good,” Lorenz said, “We will get banners up soon and posters around town. The chief and the city has put a lot of work into this project.”
The Neighborhood Watch National Night Out is celebrated in all 50 states with 16,000 communities registered to participate. “The national committee estimates that 38 million people will celebrate in their communities and neighborhoods across the country around the same time we are celebrating right here in Monte Vista,” Lorenz said. “We hope that everyone will come and spend some time at the park on Aug. 7th..”

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