Watch Update: City grants back on track

After a one month delay, the City of Memphis’ grants to the Cooper-Young Neighborhood Watch are back on track.

As regular Lamplighter readers know, efforts have been underway since mid-December to revamp the Neighborhood Watch program in Cooper Young. One of the first decisions organizers made was to divide our large geographic area into six zones. In February, each zone applied for — and was awarded — a $2,500 Neighborhood Crime Prevention Grant from the city’s Memphis Area Neighborhood Watch office. Those grants were temporarily held up while the city transfered Neighborhood Watch authority from the parks to the police department.

The bulk of the funds will go to purchase “off-the-shelf” security camera systems. The cameras will be hosted by watch members who live on the perimeter of the neighborhood and will be directed to cover public rights-of-way (streets, sidewalks, alleys, etc.). While the mere presence of cameras is not expected to be a direct deterrent, putting a few criminals behind bars with video evidence is.

The cameras will not be monitored (the systems do not even come with a monitor), and the recorded video will only be accessed in the event of criminal activity – burglary, robbery, auto theft, etc. Only the portion of the video file that falls within the timeframe of the event will be downloaded and provided to the police for review.

Other funds will be used for direct promotion of CYNW in an attempt to boost membership. Organizers are hoping for 20 percent participation across the board, which would be about 400 households. As of this writing, we are halfway there! Of course, the more who sign up, the more effective the effort will be.

Also coming in June, zones I and VI (Southern to Young, Parkway to McLean) will be hosting a Neighbor Night Out. Designed to mimic the highly successful National Night Out in August, this event invites the entire neighborhood to explore and become more familiar with our southern boundary. More on this in the June issue!

For more on the history and general concept of Neighborhood Watch, please visit nnw.org.  To learn more about CYNW, or to sign up, please visit www.cywatch.org. Anyone associated with Cooper-Young, whether you rent, own, work, or play here, is invited to our next CYNW meeting, Wednesday May 4th, 6:30 PM at Memphis Made (southeast corner of Cooper and York.)  Appetizer type potluck dishes appreciated, beverages available. — Aaron James

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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