Neighborhood security patrols start today
Posted on December 4th, 2015 by Sara
By reporter Steven Smalley
Since February when about 300 concerned Magnolia residents met at the United Church of Christ, Joe Villarino and the board of the Magnolia Patrol Association have worked to institute neighborhood patrols to stem the rate of crime on the bluff. Today is the first day of actual monitoring from automobiles cruising the streets.
?I?m very excited. We?re going to do the very best we can,? says Christian Binkley, President of the association. ?Our crime rate has risen by as much as 3000 percent. We need to do something about it.?
The plan still in effect has actual sworn police officers on patrol. Because the holiday period has personnel in short supply, unarmed private security guards from Central Protection Services will cover duties in the company’s marked vehicles until officers are available. Villarino will also patrol in a separate automobile to provide additional coverage during scheduled patrol shifts. The Magnolia Patrol Association logos are affixed to the doors.
?Since it?s the season for property theft from porches, we will be vigilant looking for anybody suspicious,? says James Toomey, Central Protection supervisor. ?We will stop and speak with the person and see if they live in the area and why are they looking at the packages.?
Toomey is the initial security guard starting patrols today, covering the entire Magnolia neighborhood.
?It?s just common sense to see if people belong in the area.? he says. ?If they?re following the delivery trucks and they look suspicious we?re going to stop and question them.?
Villarino says the patrols will work mostly during the day when residents are at work. Most burglaries occur in daylight hours when people are away, he said.
Although the association wants to remain non-specific for security reasons, Magnolia Voice was told patrols are on duty 4-6 days-per-week.
The patrol organization is modeled after similar successful groups in neighborhoods such as Windermere and Laurelhurst. The Magnolia association suggests residents who want to contribute pay $250.00 per year.
Click here for payment specifics and to receive answers to additional questions.