Gorgas Lane residents in Mt. Airy to begin town watch patrols

Still a little uncomfortable with handling their radios, 20 newly certified town watchers took the street for the first time on Wednesday night (4/4/12) in Mt. Airy. The initiative started from a feeling of increased insecurity. There have been a number of burglaries and robberies reported near the normally quiet block.

With a limited amount of participating volunteers the group tries to spread available manpower over the evening hours. The newly formed East Gorgas Plus Town Watch primarily will cover the first two-blocks of East Gorgas lane.There are no plans to patrol on the neighboring Meehan Avenue or the Mt. Airy Playground area near the Acme.

Although this training session is happening just a month after the shooting of Trayvon Martin by a self-appointed town watch captain George Zimmerman in Florida, the case is never discussed. But trainer Doug Evans of Philadelphia’s Town Watch Integrated Services advised the group to observe, document and report if something suspicious happens in the neighborhood, nothing more. He explains not to bring a dog or any kind of weapon on patrol because that might be interpreted in an aggressive way.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.