A Whitestone civic group and a local precinct want to empower residents to be the eyes and ears for their community.
The We Love Whitestone civic association and the 109th Precinct will co-host its third annual NYPD Block Watcher training class on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m. The class will be held in Whitestone; the exact location has yet to be announced.
Training takes approximately two hours and is open to Whitestone residents. There is no enrollment fee or commitment after training. Certification expires every two years.
The class will teach attendees how to help police in the event of an emergency situation. After training, each participant is given a block watcher identification number, which is to be referenced when reporting crime or dangerous conditions in the neighborhood to authorities.
NYPD Shield notes that many participants of the Block Watcher program are elderly or disabled and “make their observations without venturing far from their homes.”
Those interested in participating should email welovewhitestone[at]gmail.com, subject line “NYPD Block Watch Class,” and should include their full name, email address, telephone number and whether or not they have taken the class before. Individuals who send the email will be contacted with the latest information.
“As with any successful community, active participation is vital,” civic president Alfredo Centola said. “This program allows citizens the opportunity to learn and be proactive members of their community while looking out for their neighbors. We Love Whitestone civic prides itself on our ‘Get up, get out, get involved’ motto, and this is one perfect way [to do so].”