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CWC and Neighborhood Watch groups to hold appreciation dinner

April 12, 2012
Lehigh Acres Citizen

On Thursday, April 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Community Watch Coordinators of Lehigh Acres will celebrate its fourth anniversary by hosting an appreciation dinner for all those individuals, community groups and area agencies who have helped them make Lehigh a great place to live, work and play at the Lee County Sheriff's Office Bravo District Office.

In 2008 the CWC was formed by Neighborhood Watch Coordinators in the Lehigh area to provide continuing education, motivation and support for each other. Neighborhood Watch groups and coordinators are initially started and trained by Crime Prevention Specialist Larry Gutridge of the Lee County Sheriff's Office where groups are taught that they are the "eyes and ears" of the Sheriff's Office and that their job is NON-CONFRONTATIONAL. A watch person is only asked to report suspicious activity or person(s) to the Sheriff's Office and then let the Deputies check out the situation.

Crime Prevention is the main focus of the CWC and Neighborhood Watches however they are involved in many activities in Lehigh with a goal to help maintain active Neighborhood Watch groups and build strong community bonds. Groups have held neighborhood garage sales, BBQ's and potlucks, sponsoring fun activities like bounce houses and kids games. In addition to fun activities, Neighborhood Watch groups have also been successful in holding neighborhood cleanups, picking up litter, maintaining and getting roads paved, adding street lights at bus stops and helping maintain property values by utilizing Code Enforcement. Many Lee County government agencies have partnered with the CWC and the Neighborhood Watch Coordinators on a variety projects as have some community action committees in Lehigh; together these agencies have helped the CWC improve Lehigh"one neighborhood at a time."

The CWC meets every month on the third Thursday at 6:30 pm and is open to all Neighborhood Watch coordinators. At these meetings at least one member of the Lee County Sheriff's Office is always present, reporting on current crime trends and to answer any questions. Meeting attendees have had the opportunity to meet many of the Lehigh Acres/Bravo District Deputies and Detectives and learn how they do their jobs and how the citizens can help. Neighborhood Watch Coordinators have also learned through crime stat reports that those neighborhoods that have an active Neighborhood Watch have fewer crimes then in surrounding areas. Neighborhood Watch proves that it can and does prevent crime!

All of this is the reason the organization wants to invite the public to help the CWC honor the people and agencies who have partnered with the CWC at the Appreciation Dinner and to present them with an Appreciation Certificate.

Those honored guests who have been invited to attend are: Lee County Commissioner, Frank Mann, Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott, and from Bravo District Captain Ron Curtis and his wife Linda, Lt. JD Loethen, Community Policing Deputies Quackenbush and Cart, Detectives Lalor and Sgt. Karlsen, as well as Lee County Sheriff's Crime Prevention Specialist Larry Gutridge and Community Relations Manager Stacey Payne. Also, from Code Enforcement Bill Keeler and Kathy Domanski, Veteran's Park Colleen Via and Yancy Hall, Adopt-A-Road Adrienne Solomon, Keep Lehigh Acres Beautiful Damon Shelor, Keep Lee County Beautiful Rick Roberts, and from DOT Randy Cerchie, Andy Getch, Cindy Pledger and Dirk Danley. Also, from the Lehigh Acres Community Initiative Bo Turbeville and Coordinator Andrea Adams, Neighborhood Restoration Subcommittee George and Sandy Syzmanski, Bill and Betty Nottling, and some of our own CWC's very special coordinators who have worked closely with some of our partners, outside of their neighborhoods Bill and Betty Nottling, Steve McGriffin, David Wagley and Mary Dunlap. The CWC wants to THANK EVERYONE.

If you would like to attend and help celebrate and honor the hard work of the CWC and Lehigh Acres' Neighborhood Watches please join them at the Lee County Sheriff's Bravo District substation at 1301 Homestead Road, Lehigh Acres.

Source: Community Watch Coordinators of Lehigh Acres



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