Michael Hagy of the NORTEX Regional Planning Commission spoke to more than 100 local residents about the Neighborhood Watch program on Tuesday, Aug. 5.
Michael Hagy of the NORTEX Regional Planning Commission spoke to more than 100 local residents about the Neighborhood Watch program on Tuesday, Aug. 5. Recent criminal activity throughout Olney sparked an interest in beginning watch groups throughout the city, and Hagy told the crowd about the first steps to achieving that goal.

More than 100 residents attended an inital meeting to help begin a Neighborhood Watch program in Olney Tuesday, Aug. 5. 

Michael Hagy, director of criminal justice services for the NORTEX Regional Planning Commission, was the guest speaker. He gave the crowd information on the program’s purpose.

“Neighborhood Watch works when there’s neighbors to watch,” Hagy said, adding that he helped keep a successful program going during his 10 1/2 years as chief of police at Midwestern State University.

He also added that the program can only succeed if it is constructive and not destructive.

“We have to agree that we’re going to work together,” he said. “The problem can only be fixed if you’re invested in it.”

According to Hagy, the purpose of a Neighborhood Watch is to allow residents to identify and report criminal activity to the police, promote crime prevention programs, communicate with neighbors and law enforcement, hold neighborhood meetings and sponsor programs in the neighborhood such as Operation ID and house numbering. Other helpful ways a Neighborhood Watch group can assist include aiding with vacation watch over homes and providing “safe houses” for children to go to in an emergency.

(For more of this story, check out this week's edition!)



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