Mayfair Town Watch to host police meet-and-greet

At their first meeting of 2010, Mayfair Town Watch members — along with 15th District Lt. Bugieda — discussed the upcoming implementation of Police Service Areas in the district. To mark the occasion, the Town Watch will hold an open meeting Wednesday, Jan. 20 for police officers, politicians and local businesses owners to meet one another. All in the name of community relations.

Already established in some districts, PSAs were initiated by Police Commissioner John Ramsey in an effort to bolster communities while preventing crime. The goal of the PSAs are to ensure consistency in every district, allowing residents to become familiar with their patrolling officers, and keeping those officers in their assigned zones on a regular basis.

Mayfair Town Watch president John Vearling called the group’s relationship with the 15th District a “collaborative effort,” and encouraged members to introduce themselves to the officers on duty.

And in an effort to strengthen those relationships, the Town Watch’s PSA meeting — held during the Police Department’s PSA Week — will allow three integral parts of the community come together: police officers, politicians and business owners. The purpose, Vearling told Town Watch members, is to have every side know what the others are doing to help the community, with Mayfair Town Watch being the common thread.

“Everyone in the 15th has given us support,” Vearling said. “But we have to do our part.”

And as Vearling and the rest of the Town Watch see it, doing their part means more than holding meetings. During last night’s two-hour meeting, the group discussed several ongoing problems in the neighborhood, and brought their concerns to Bugieda. Among the top issues were drug use and random highway robberies.

With regards to the drug use, Bugieda said there are “alot of stash houses and cut houses in the Northeast,” meaning while the drug use isn’t blatant, it’s there nonetheless. Vearling vowed his group would do whatever they could to help shut down the problem houses, and offered to take on smaller town watch groups in the area that have recently folded. The president said he recently found three crack bags on his own block.

Vearling and Vice President Len Roberts agreed the PSA event will be a kickoff point for the Town Watch, as it will help link all the factors necessary to strengthen the neighborhood.

The group expects to host at least 55 people at the Perzel Center, and will serve refreshments. Over the next two weeks, they’ll be seeking out business owners to spread word about the event and possibly sponsor Mayfair Town Watch.

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