By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — The Anderson Police Department Neighborhood Crime Watch program will have its second annual citywide meeting today.
The program, which was created to encourage residents to take responsibility for making their neighborhoods safer, will be held in the City Building auditorium at 6 p.m. Crime Watch only conducts its citywide meeting once a year, with smaller meetings organized each month for five separate districts around Anderson.
Crime Watch uses input from residents to help law enforcement battle crime more effectively and work together with the populace. The program is headed up by APD officers Chris Frazier and Chad Boynton.
“Certain problems affect us all, and the purpose of the meetings is to get some of those important topics out on the table,” said Crime Watch coordinator Kelly Taliaferro.
Madison Circuit Court 4 Judge David Happe and Mayor Kevin Smith are expected to speak at the meeting. Taliaferro said judges, public officials and police officers often speak at the monthly meetings as well. One of the bigger issues brought to her attention lately is bond releases.
At the end of meetings, residents apparently complain about people who were arrested and charged, make bail and then are released right back into their neighborhoods.
The issue is expected to be addressed by the guest speakers at the meeting.
“It’s been one of the biggest concerns people have. A lot of times their first reaction is to blame the police for not doing their job. We want to educate the public about the legal process and cover what happens after an arrest,” Taliaferro said.
Happe said he was excited to speak at the event, and government at all levels works better when people get involved in programs like Crime Watch.
“If anyone is trying to get more information about how the legal process works, courts, trends in crime, I want to help them out. I’m a strong proponent of what they’re doing,” Happe said.
The program will go back to its monthly beat meetings in July. Taliaferro said Crime Watch will host a community day on Aug. 31 at the Anderson Town Center, 12th and Meridian streets. The event will feature K-9 demonstrations, a swat team, a disk jockey, a rock-climbing wall and other activities.
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