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Marysville Police offer Neighborhood Watch Program training

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Police Department aims to empower citizens to make their own homes and neighborhoods safer and better places to live through its Neighborhood Watch Program, which is why they're inviting area residents to attend its next training session on Sept. 28.

According to police officials, when citizens who have received crime prevention training keep an eye out for their neighbors, the entire neighborhood and community reap the benefits.

"The Neighborhood Watch Program expands the duties and benefits of a traditional crime prevention role to help neighborhoods focus on disaster preparedness, emergency response and other subjects that relate to home and personal safety," Marysville Police Chief Rick Smith said. "The program is an important community policing tool that helps those of us in law enforcement do our jobs more effectively."

In Marysville, the Neighborhood Watch Program is managed by the Crime Prevention Unit within the Police Department, and more specifically, Marysville Volunteers Program volunteers Chris Troxell and Josh Musser, who have done most of the coordination. According to Marysville Police Lt. Darin Rasmussen, who oversees the Neighborhood Watch Program, the need to revitalize the program became evident in 2009 on the heels of statistics pointing to an increase in neighborhood-related crimes including home burglaries, car prowls, vehicle thefts, graffiti and vandalism.

Rasmussen emphasized that the Neighborhood Watch Program is not vigilantism or street justice that has neighbors chasing bad guys, interrupting burglaries in progress or tracking down perpetrators. Rather, it is about neighbors keeping an eye out for problems or activities that just "don't look right," and then reporting them to police. He added that participation does not require around-the-clock commitment, but instead simply relies on area residents keeping their eyes and ears open as they go about their daily activities.

Anyone that lives within the city limits of Marysville who is interested in learning about or becoming involved in the Neighborhood Watch Program is welcome to attend its regularly scheduled meetings. Two types of meetings are available. On the second Tuesday of each month, a new member orientation is held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Marysville Public Safety Training Room, located at 1635 Grove St. On the fourth Thursday of each month, a training session is conducted there from 6:30-7:30 p.m. A wide variety of training subjects are discussed, some periodically. Examples include home burglary prevention, personal safety, gang awareness and response, cybercrimes and ID theft prevention, question-and-answer sessions with police leadership and prosecutors, and home disaster preparedness.

The next training is scheduled for Sept. 28. For more information or to become involved in the Neighborhood Watch Program, contact Rasmussen by phone at 360-363-8319 or via e-mail at drasmussen@marysvillewa.gov.

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