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Neighborhood watch sheds light on crime

By Staff | Jan 16, 2013

Paden City Neighborhood Watch is currently selling raffle tickets for the hand-stitched quilt “Broken Dishes”, donated by Sarah Winland. From left: Co-Founder Barb Hopkins, Police Chief Mike Kelly and Block Captain Jessica Quinn hold up the quilt.

Paden City Neighborhood Watch began the new year with the same message of responsible crime prevention and awareness. At its Jan. 10 meeting, members of the group continued to shed light on issues affecting the town.

Paden City Chief of Police Mike Kelly shared and discussed crime figures from the department’s December report.

“Crimes change because of the weather,” he said, citing the projected statistics in which four calls regarding domestic situations were made. “When it gets colder, people tend to stay inside more. Domestic situations pick up.”

He also announced that Officer Michael Neff had graduated from the police academy and was on duty at the time of the meeting.

“Paden City is in great shape when it comes to officers,” said Kelly, informing the group that the town has 24-hour coverage. Another officer is currently in the academy and the city is in the process of hiring a fifth.

For those new to the meetings, he discussed Neighborhood Watch Observation Notes, which are forms people can fill out describing suspicious activity they have witnessed. He assured that he and the members of his department will protect the identities of people who provide information.

Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Haught addressed a similar topic, stating that people should not be afraid to come forward with information. He said that, out of hundreds of drug investigations, his confidential informants have never been retaliated against in a violent way and that every person who ever spoke a threat against one of his witnesses was immediately charged with intimidating a witness.

“Moral courage is the most important quality you can have,” he said. “Being a citizen in our country requires us to have moral courage. If more citizens did, we would not have the problems we have.”

In other news, the group is now officially connected with the National Neighborhood Watch.

Also, Co-Founder Barb Hopkins will be selling raffle tickets for a quilt hand-stitched and donated by Sarah Winland. The name of the quilt is “Broken Dishes”. Tickets cost $5 for an arm’s length and all proceeds will benefit the neighborhood watch’s efforts. Those interested in purchasing tickets can contact Hopkins at 304-337-8742.

Among other matters discussed were: the late-hour loudness of ATVs on Seventh Avenue, which violates a noise ordinance; how to report issues with animals as well as the responsibility of pet owners; where and how to report matters of abuse; and identity theft and other fraud.