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Hooksett aims to grow neighborhood watch

HOOKSETT — The Hooksett Police Department wants to grow the town’s neighborhood watch program, asking anyone interested in becoming a watch coordinator to contact the department.

Sgt. Jake Robie, the departmental liaison, said that currently there is only one watch group in the town working with the police.

“We have had the neighborhood watch group for a number of years, but with the recent transition going on the department we haven’t been able to give focus that it has needed, so we’re just trying to enhance the program more than it has been,” Robie said.

Robie said that Chief Peter Bartlett, who has been in that job for just over a year, supports the expansion of the watch groups and wants to see the program succeed. Robie said the department is trying to gather enough interested residents to have a joint meeting and get the watch program back on track.

“Right now we’re looking for people interested in being coordinators for separate watch groups. Each coordinator would take a section of the town and than they will be responsible for getting local community members interested and coordinating the watch group. They will report back to the police, and I will be the coordinator of that,” Robie said.

Robie said an expanded watch could have a positive impact on the community.

“The benefit is the community involvement, having the extra eyes and ears. We’re only a 25-member department, and this will help us be more prepared to try to track criminal activity. We will take the leads the watch groups give us and follow up on them and hopefully solve more crimes,” Robie said.

“In an emergency situation we are going to ask members to call us, to call 911, not take matters into their own hands,” Robie said.

Town Council Chairman James Sullivan said that he is happy to hear that the police department is trying to expand the program.

“I know they started the neighborhood watch program a few years ago. It’s a good idea to have neighbors watching out for each other. I think it’s really nice, and I’m glad they are reinitiating it,” Sullivan said.