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What you missed at our meeting!

Date of Meeting: September 28, 2009 This meeting was basically an introduction the Program. We introduced the people starting/heading up the program. We had a sign in sheet for everyone to sign when they walked in and also an interest sheet to sign if you were interested in more information about being a captain, member or a safe house. If you did not attend the meeting, but are still interested in any of these, please send your name, address, phone number, email, and what you’re interested in to . Christie Ebert & Crystal Wilson Co-Coordinators Both coordinators introduced themselves and told a little about themselves. Both are stay-athome moms with 2 children. The responsibilities of the coordinators are as follows: • Get pertinent information out in a timely matter to Neighborhood/Zone captains so they can start calling members on the next part of the phone tree. This way with everyone making only a few phone calls, all watch members will be notified when something happens that they should be aware of. Work with the Police Dept., Public Works, and whomever else they need to contact to help resolve problems left in anonymous tip boxes at meetings. Create and distribute flyers and important information to get the word out about Neighbor Watch meetings/events. Contact and arrange for special guests to show up at meetings to keep the meetings interesting and informative.

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Both coordinators spoke of the Neighborhood Watch program and how it works. There will be a phone tree that will be used when something happens in the community that needs to get out as quick as possible. Tree System: Coordinators-Neighborhood/Zone captains-Street Captains-Block Captains-Members Detective Pete Fajman- He spoke about the previous watch programs that Steger has had. He also spoke about the responsibilities of captains and how the police dept. (himself especially) will be working with the residents and holding discussions of crime that is happening at the time. Sergeant Jerry Ruff- was a special guest speaker for the D.A.R.E. program that he runs and also for safety for kids. He will also be with us for next month to speak about Halloween safety and we urge you to bring kids to the next meeting. We are trying to get Halloween bags to hand out at the meeting, but it’s not a guarantee. We do also encourage you to bring your kids so they can personally learn some Halloween safety.

Police Chief Richard Stultz- the chief spoke of how the Police Dept. is backing the program and hopes to be able to work with the community to make Steger safer. The floor was then opened up for questions and comments. One of the big questions was how were we going to spread the word more about the program. Like it was great that we had flyers go out thru the schools but seniors and parents with non-school age children wanted to know how we would be getting information out to them. We stated that we went door to door, we went to Day cares that we were aware of, we went to businesses, there was a sign on the Village marquee, there was a sign on the on the VFW marquee. We posted stuff in different places on the internet. Another question was how were we going to get the message to kids, how were we going to teach kids about neighborhood safety. We stated that the next meeting was a kid friendly meeting and we are will to have a kid’s neighborhood meeting to help parents show their children about the program. We are hoping to have refreshments and a little more organization in the following meetings as we establish captains. We will be ordering decals for members and safe houses as soon as we have a set number of members. One issue that was brought up numerous times was the attendance of members and that being the reason previous attempts at a watch program failed. As much as we would like to be able to get information to members without them ever showing up at meetings. Unfortunately that is not the case. We need members to continuously show up for this program to be successful. That is not to say that we will not get info out to members that are usually in attendance and can’t make it sometimes. We understand obligations, but do encourage everyone to try to make it to most meetings. Yes we want crime to go down, but we want it to stay down, so active and continued involvement in the program is crucial. Once things have gotten better people need to not be lax on involvement or we will be right back to the same ole same ole again.