The initial Neighborhood Watch program meeting, headed by Councilmen Yakubov and Dinardo took place at the Casano Community Center tonight at 7:00 p.m.

Brinks Security made a presentation about alarm systems and other tips to keep your premises secure.

Sgt. Picarelli from the Roselle Park Police Department spoke about the Neighborhood Watch. He stated that the Neighborhood Watch and those who participate are the eyes and ears of the police department. The police department counts on the residences to report anything suspicious: Noise such as glass breaking, strange people in the neighborhood, unfamiliar vehicles in the neighborhood, etc. He mentioned that there are elderly residents who live alone and would benefit from a neighborhood watch program. The program will try to have monthly or bi-monthly meeting, depending on the activity in town.

The sergeant spoke of home burglaries, car break-ins, and the stealing of GPS systems in vehicles. Criminals look for opportunity so people should keep any and all temptations (CDs, change, bags, etc) out of sight in their vehicles.

With regard to houses, the police department will conduct free security checks on houses for those who participate in the program. They will make recommendations to keep your premises as secure as possible. For example, if homeowners have windows that are at least 32′ away from outside/front doors, double dead bolts should be installed on the doors. Cellar windows are a means of opportunity for intrusion and should be secured, as well as hinged burglar bars. He also spoke of ‘window pinning’ which would prevent windows from being raised or lowered beyond a certain level. Some plastic guards that are on windows are not strong enough to prevent intrusion. He stated that Colline Brothers have window pinning equipment that would be suitable for security.

Sgt. Picarelli stated that most burglaries occur when houses are unoccupied. The most common thing burglars go after are jewelry, money, etc. – not TV or large items.

Mention was made of National Night Out, which is the first Tuesday of August every year. In August, the National Night Out will be held at the Green Acres. Literature on safety will be available there.

There are some block watches on the 1st, 2nd, and 5th wards.

When calling in suspicious activity or to report a crime, the caller can remain anonymous. If there is a problem with the dispatcher, the caller can ask for a supervisor. The non-emergency phone for Roselle Park Police is (908) 245-2300. The emergency number 911 can be called from a land line or cell phone but be aware that when calling from a cellphone, the call will be routed to the nearest cell tower, which may not always be Roselle Park. The caller should give as much information as possible to the dispatcher taking the call because the dispatcher may not be from Roselle Park and may not know the area.

When securing your premises, go over the security steps with your children; especially if installing a double dead bolt on any door; having the children know where the key is and how to use it.

The officer mentioned that people should be aware of ‘gypsy scams’ which largely take advantage of the elderly.

A member of the audience asked how many times should calls be made into the police department if a house that has known drug activity. The detective stated to give information to the detective bureau.

Another audience member asked if there was a way to find out information on activity / crime that has occurred in town. He wanted to know if there was a place where the residents could go t find out information? Was there a police blotter that is available? The sergeant stated that such matters are under the onus of the public information officer.

Through the block watch / neighborhood watch program, the block watch captains would be the liaisons with the police. The police do not encourage residents to go on patrols.

An audience member asked about police scanners. The officer stated that no one should become involved in an incident that is relayed through police channels.

Officer Kompany spoke about his involvement with the SAFE Program (Security Assistance For the Elderly). It provides a sense of security for the elderly residents of Roselle Park. It also keeps them in touch with the community. If anyone knows of anyone who might benefit from this program, they should contact Officer Kompany through the Roselle Park Police Department.

Councilman Badillo spoke and stated that houses should have numbers on them. This would help in case of emergency to have the responding agency (fire, police, ambulance) find your premises.

He also spoke of the ‘gypsy scams’ and stated that people need to have permits to solicit in Roselle Park.

A woman asked about young teens going around asking for subscriptions to the Star Ledger. The councilman stated that any suspicious activity should be called into the police to have them check it out.

The councilman stated that if any matter reported to the police is not addressed, to please contact your councilman or any council member.

We left at this point of the meeting to attend the Board Of Education (BOE) meeting at Borough Hall.