Neighborhood Watch Meeting: Program Discussed and Roles Assigned

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On Thursday the 18th, Metuchen Police Officers Kenneth Bauer and Nancy Phibbs met with the Neighborhood Watch volunteers in the high school cafeteria.


The goal of Neighborhood Watch programs is to help reduce crime and strengthen relationships between citizens and the police department. It is not possible to have an officer on every street corner; the neighborhood residents know who belongs there, who doesn't, and what activity is suspicious. Once you know your neighbor's routine, you more easily recognize suspicious activity. Neighborhood Watch helps train people on what to look for and how to report what they see.


Officer's Bauer and Phibbs stressed that the program is NOT designed for participants to take personal risk in fighting crime.

The Steps of a Neighborhood Watch Program:


The First Step:

Plan strategies that address any problems in the neighborhood: identify ways to deal with the potential crime patterns of that area.

The Second Step:

Build a relationship between law enforcement officers and residents. For the Neighborhood Watch program to be successful, officers will begin by understanding the needs of the neighborhood and work as role models for crime prevention efforts.

The Third Step:

Law enforcement and residents decide together what is important to the neighborhood.

The Fourth Step:

Select volunteers. The leaders of each group needs to be organized and motivated. If they lose motivation, the Neighborhood Watch will suffer; and if they are not organized, volunteers may quit out of frustration.

The Fifth Step:

Develop meaningful projects. Often, after the Neighborhood Watch has addressed the original issue, members lose interest. Activities may include building a neighborhood playground or picking up trash along the roadways throughout their area.


Neighborhood Watch Participant Responsibilities:


          Learn names of neighbors and recognize them and their vehicles.

          Keep block map, block profile sheet, and telephone tree in an accessible place and continue to update them.

          Attend watch meetings.

          Implement security measures suggested by law enforcement after a home security survey.

          Keep an eye on neighbors' homes and report suspicious activities to the Metuchen Police Department (911) and to neighbors.

          Write a description of any suspicious-looking persons or vehicles and report them to police.

          Be a good witness.  Do not take any risk if you observe a crime.  Do not try to make an arrest.

          Notify the Block Captain and neighbors when you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time


Possible Block Captain Responsibilities:


          Recruit new members

          Maintain a membership list and area map with home addresses

          Keep members informed about area crime and disorder

          Try to see group members frequently

          Establish and maintain a phone tree with home and work numbers that group members can use to contact residents in an emergency

          Develop an area activity profile to help members recognize unusual or suspicious activities in the area.  This could include vehicle descriptions, work hours, school hours for children, and scheduled services, e.g., gardening

          Act as a spokesperson for the group

          Serve as liaison with the Metuchen Police Department

          Plan, announce, and facilitate meetings

          Organize crime prevention activities, e.g., watching homes when residents are away


Teams Announced:


Arline Zatz-Director 

Alan Regan -Co-Director 


Block A (Spring Street Area) James Lewis- Captain 

John and Sharon Marino

Jeff and Lisa Spitery

Seth and Sheri Rubin

Ben and Marcy Small

Michele Hornby

Steven Stetz

Joan Breen

Karen Alexander

Gregory Wexle

Jim Graziano

Rob Donnan


Block B (Dolores Dr. Area) John Grigo- Captain  


Block C (East Chestnut Area) Suzanne Andrews- Captain 

Phyllis Boeddinghaus 

Karen Farr

Larry Lavender

Grant-McKiernan Family

Pete Cammarano


Block D (Grove Ave Area) James Haddad - Captain

Lorraine Colavito

Evelyn Geier

Joel Zatz

William Hanley

Jason Redwood


Block E (Willow Road Area) Charles Huffsmith--Captain  


Block F (Harvard Ave Area) Ben Nigro-- Captain 

Dorothy Rasmussen

Bob Cosgrove

Matt Moore

Alan Regan

John and Kathy Burke


Block G (Jonesdale Ave Area) Captain Position - Open

Jerry Yaros

Nicholas Donahue

Jack Altman

Justin Manley


For more information on Neighborhood Watch or to volunteer to serve your neighborhood, please contact Officer Bauer or Phibbs at:


Metuchen Police Department Non-Emergency Number:   732-632-8500

Neighborhood Watch email:

1 Comment

sounds like an excellent well organized program. Lets hope it works. Great choice by Chief with Officer's Bauer and Phibbs. Very professional police force we have. Thats why I love Metuchen, the small town feel.

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  • Anonymous: sounds like an excellent well organized program. Lets hope it read more

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