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Drury, Knode seek to revive Neighborhood Watch program

July 14, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

WILLIAMSPORT -- Williamsport started experiencing problems with gangs in June, but one town official believes the problem might have been corrected.

The issue came up during the Williamsport Town Council meeting Monday night.

A June Washington County Sheriff's Office report for the town said there has been a problem with a few alleged gangs. The gangs consist of male teenagers who have assaulted other gang members and other youths not affiliated with a gang, the report said.

A task force has been made aware of the issue. Carl D. Whitmer of the sheriff's office and another officer are attempting to stop the gang activity, the report said.

Mayor James G. McCleaf II told council members he believes the problem has been resolved.

Assistant Mayor Anthony T. Drury said he believes a Neighborhood Watch program should be re-established in town. The one that used to exist was dissolved, Drury said.

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Through Neighborhood Watch programs, residents stay on the lookout for trouble and report any problems they find to police.

Besides the gang activity, Drury said a few windows have been shot out of cars in town.

"It's not getting any better," Drury said.

Council member Joan E. Knode suggested promoting a Neighborhood Watch program during the annual National Night Out, which will be held Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Byron Memorial Park pool.

National Night Out is designed to heighten awareness of ways to prevent crime and drug problems; generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs; and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships according to www.nationaltownwatch.org/nno.

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