Schenectady Neighborhood watch earns national recognition, award

Schenectady Neighborhood watch earns national recognition, award

SCHENECTADY, NY (WRGB) Schenectady's neighborhood watch has grown a lot since first organizing in the 1980's. It’s grown so much, that now they're getting national attention for expanding their reach to keep the city safe.

"They live in the neighborhood they work those neighborhoods they're familiar with people, so it's just another set of eyes and ears,” says sergeant Matt Dearing of the Schenectady police department.

They were honored with the National Night Out award, given to select communities by the National Association of Town Watch. A city has to meet seven strict criteria to qualify, like participation rates, and their range of coverage. Neighborhood watch president Frederic Lee says it all boils down to their training.

"If you see something say something, but what is something and so what we have to do is train people on what the something is,” Lee said.

Lee says unlike most neighborhood watches, certain members of their unit have digital radios that connect straight to dispatch.

"Alpha one to bravo two,” Lee says to his handheld radio.

Lee says the radio operators all trained on how to call something in.

"Bravo two we read you loud and clear," says the voice on the other end.

"If dispatch knows that you are a trained observer then you'll know how to give the information to them,” Lee says.

And while most of them patrol on foot, Lee says they're also allowed to make calls while on the road.

"I'm on mobile patrol in zone one," Lee says to his radio.

The director of the National association of town watch says Schenectady was one of only three municipalities in all of New York state to win the award.

Lee says he’s looking into adding a bike patrol to his more than 300-member neighborhood watch.

To learn more about the Schenectady Neighborhood Watch, click on the link below.

To learn more about National Night out and the NTWA, click on this link below.

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