Inching ever closer to street patrols, members of Mayfair Town Watch completed the first of a two-part training series at last night’s meeting.
Chad Enos of Town Watch Integrated Services led the half-hour session, which dealt with organizational structure and 9-1-1 codes. “A lot of town watch groups initially fail because they don’t set up a structure,” Enos informed the group. Fortunately for the Mayfair organization, the members have already established a board, set up patrol teams and are drawing in new members. Their youngest member, at 18, is Pete Smith, son of town watch Scheduler Pete Smith.
Enos focused heavily on 9-1-1 reports, including familiarizing yourself with police codes and giving accurate descriptions. Knowing your neighbors by name, he said, is of the utmost importance. And on the heels of that is knowing the names of the people you’re patrolling.
Members were referred to a 24-page packet filled with forms and guides, including 9-1-1 codes and priorities. For example, crimes are prioritized on a zero to six rating system, with zero (officer assistance) being the highest. Enos explained to Mayfair Town Watch members how to get the most out of their 9-1-1 calls:
- Ask for the operator’s number, and be prepared to give your town watch ID number in return.
- Know the priority of our cal For example, a “suspicious person” call is a lower priority than a “prowler.”
- Give the details you know, but don’t guess about anything. If you’re reporting a crime involving a vehicle, but didn’t get the make and model, don’t guess at it.
- Document everything you tell the operator, and add to your report if necessary.
Be a good witness
Town Watch training instructor Chad Enos provided tips for providing good descriptions of suspect. Here are a few things to look for:
- facial hair
Enos also stressed the importance of being able to give police a direction, in the case of a fleeing suspect. “There is more than one way to give a direction,” he said, noting that it’s not always easy to identify North, South, East and West. An easy alternative is to give officers a major street name or landmark in the direction the suspect fled.
In addition to teaching the members about police interaction, Enos also provided tips about general patrols, which included locating hot spots, sanitation problems and vacant properties. While these aren’t necessarily police issues, he said, they are community issues that will need to be addressed.
Before dismissing the meeting, Enos took photos of those in attendance, which will be used on their town watch badges. Next week, at the culmination of training, Enos will focus on the dos and don’ts of town watch, patrol areas and radio usage.
Below, see video of Mayfair Town Watch board members discussing the group’s future.
Also at last night’s meeting…With training set for completion next week, Town Watch Treasurer Shawn Hagerty said the group may be able to start patrolling in the next two weeks…Vice President Len Roberts will write a letter to SEPTA, requesting the 14 and 20 routes run extra buses on weekend nights to handle the rush of kids leaving Jamz. The buses currently run every 30 minutes…A town watch member is requesting a state grant, via Rep. Mike McGeehan, to seek funding for a police radio system…St. Hubert’s, Father Judge and St. Tim’s have all agreed to distribute Mayfair Town Watch information through students to their parents…Mayfair Town Watch will meet next week on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 to complete training.