Gary Foster
Block Watch captain

To the editor:
The Independence Police Department featured the Cottage Eagle Watchers as the block watch group for the month of June. The Cottage Eagle Watchers are on the 700 and 800 blocks of North Cottage. The block watch group was established four years ago and is seen as a role model for others to follow.

The group continues to meet or exceed program requirements. Success of the group is due to neighbors who support and contribute to activities that promote community safety, security awareness and coordinating with police and other officials regarding safety issues.

Activities that the group has organized and conducted include regular meetings to update neighbors on things occurring in the neighborhood, onsite presentations from experts in the community regarding safety issues such as Internet safety, focusing on identity theft and use of the Internet by pedophiles, services available for abused members of the public and home security. They also conducted a health fair featuring bicycle helmet distribution, bone density checks, cholesterol checks and blood pressure readings and gun lock safety distribution. They also adopt a family for Christmas, had a garage sale with 15 homes participating, and their annual block watch parties have been used to promote the block watch program to other adjacent neighborhoods.

The most recent block party held on May 23 drew approximately 60 participants with several coming from other streets. Both adults and children enjoyed the great food that was served and the presence of the Independence police unit, fire department and emergency response team that were available to answer questions and show their equipment.

Independence Police have provided four crime watch signs in recognition of North Cottage Street efforts. The group has also been involved in assisting the Union Watchers in forming their group.