Archive for Thursday, May 11, 2006

Falcon Lakes taking up the watch

May 11, 2006

Basehor may soon be an even safer place to live if the idea of a neighborhood watch program takes hold.

At the request of the Homeowner's Association of Falcon Lakes, Basehor Police Chief Terry W. Horner and Cpl. Greg Hallgrimson conducted a meeting Monday night to discuss implementing a neighborhood watch program at Falcon Lakes.

"This neighborhood watch program will be used as a pilot," Horner said. "We'll see how it takes in the community and see if there is an interest in the rest of city."

About 15 people attended the Monday night meeting and four people, Dean Weddum, Larry Shepek, Jeri McDonnell and Don Lightfoot, were selected to serve on the liaison committee to the police department.

The cost of posts and signs for the program, which will be burdened by the Homeowner's Association, is being researched.

Horner also had the idea to incorporate a program called A Child is Missing into the neighborhood watch program. This federally funded program, which is based out of Florida, is currently being used in several states and was just introduced to Kansas about a month ago. It covers not only children, but adults with medical conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer's as well that have walked away from their homes. If a person is discovered missing, approximately 1,000 telephones are called in 60 seconds to notify the community.

"It would be a good asset to the community," Horner said. "It is not meant to replace the Amber Alert system, it just compliments it. It also gives officers a faster response time to the situation."

The police department and the liaison committee of Falcon Lakes will meet in a couple of weeks to discuss the criteria and rules for the pilot neighborhood watch program. They also plan to have quarterly meetings. If the decision is made to zone the rest of the city and expand the neighborhood watch program, Horner emphasized that it was important for others to act as liaisons.

"It is a direct line of communication and it's the citizens working with the police department," he said.

Horner said the packaged neighborhood watch program and A Child is Missing program will be brought to the City Council soon.

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