Column: What it means to join Crime Watch
Any Rindge citizen is welcome to become a Rindge Crime Watch member. The group encourages membership from residents in good standing with the police department, of good moral character, and a willingness to volunteer for their community. Through ongoing relationships with the public and police, the police department is often able to vouch for a person’s character. Evelyn Lewis is our police department liaison and provides information and assistance to our Rindge Crime Watch Group. New members are not vetted. By state law, no law enforcement agency can run checks unless that person is involved in a criminal investigation. To do otherwise, without express written consent, would be unlawful.
During meetings, we discuss what has gone on in the town and where problems have and may arise. All members are given the information that no private resident is allowed to do any stops, participate in a confrontation, or respond to a call unless they are a member of a law enforcement group. The police will be responsible for the follow up and potential charges of anyone who has been reported. Crime Watch only needs to relay the information to an officer.
Training is available for Static Patrol members as to how they may be utilized and how the patrols need to be done. Vehicles must be turned off, lights off (no flicking at vehicles going by), no weapons of any kind may be carried, cameras and video cameras are allowed and, most importantly, members are not to leave the confines of their vehicle for any reason. They are to have checked in with Keene Dispatch at 355-2000 to let them know who they are, what their vehicles are, what their cell phone numbers are, and the times they will be out and where they will be. They will have to call dispatch to notify an officer of any problem that comes up. Further training is not required, but can be given to any citizen who requests it.
During the January meeting, a taser demonstration was given by Sgt. Dan Anair. Pieces of the taser unit, including wires, casing, and darts, were passed around. Roy Tarbox, one of the original members, had offered to be tased. Officer Rachel Derosier and Chief Frank Morrill held Roy’s arms and then lowered him to the floor after the taser was fired. All muscle control is lost once the darts are stuck in the body. Shannon Tarbox and myself then assisted by pulling out the darts.
Our February meeting will include training in basic first aid by Officer Tom Horne. We are hoping to be able to offer CPR training in the near future.
Our March meeting will include firearm safety with Don Huntington, a certified instructor, who works with New Hampshire Fish & Game. Don is also a member of the Monadnock Rod & Gun Club in Peterborough.
Holly Koski is Vice President of the Rindge Crime Watch and a Zone 3 Captain since the group’s inception.