East Windsor is a relatively safe place to live, but it is not crime-free.
The police force is excellent, but their numbers are limited. Partnership with the community is essential in maintaining community security.
Studies have shown that crime levels are lowest in neighborhoods in which there is a sense of community or mutual trust among neighbors, combined with a willingness to get involved in achieving a common good.
There was a time when neighbors could tell you the names, life history, and values of every family on their block. They made time to interact, compare notes, and share lawn maintenance and snow removal equipment. Kids played together and everyone kept an eye out for their safety. When families went on vacation, everyone took in their mail and watched for any intruders.
Sadly, the times have changed.
Modern technology coupled with a harsh economic environment has stifled these valuable neighbor-to-neighbor communications. The integration of the computer and other smart technology into our daily lives has created isolation. The necessity to work long hours or two jobs limits free time and just "hanging out" with neighbors.
Community-wide celebrations are one powerful antidote for the effects of this interpersonal separation. One such event – National Night Out – is coming up in less than two weeks. Its focus is on building police and community partnerships in order to prevent crime.
Make plans to attend. Get to know the faces of East Windsor. Make new friends and remind yourself why you chose this township to live in and raise your kids. Meet some of the police, fire fighters, and first-aid members before you need their services.
National Night Out: What Is It?
On Tuesday, August 2, the 28th Annual National Night Out will be celebrated in more than 15,000 communities in the U.S. and in Canada, with over 37 million people anticipated to attend.
According to the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), the sponsor of this event, the evening is designed to:
- Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
- Generate support for and participation in local anticrime programs
- Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships
- Send a message to criminals, letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back*
NATW describes itself as a "non-profit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of organized, law enforcement-affiliated crime and drug prevention programs."
East Windsor National Night Out
In East Windsor, this free event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the East Windsor PAL complex at 30 Airport Road. Organized by the Police Department in conjunction with the mayor and Township Council, it is indeed a gala, with games, free hot dogs and other food, prizes, and many giveaways.
Most important, you will get a chance to make new friends and interact with other members of the community.
“East Windsor Township is committed to strengthening neighborhood unity and police and community partnerships to help deter crime and to enhance our local quality of life.” Mayor Janice Mironov said in a press release. “The township has participated in hosting ‘National Night Out’ for 13 years, during which we have provided thousands of citizens with information on crime prevention and community partnerships.”
Hopefully, the spark of community generated at this event will encourage neighbors to interact and generate activities such as block parties and/or the creation of some form of a neighborhood watch.
How to Strengthen Community Every Day
One community (Caspar, California) made a list of year-round behavior we can adopt that will build community after events such as National Night Out are over.** Sample suggestions include:
- Turn off your TV (or computer, iPad, or smartphone)
- Open your shades
- Know your neighbors
- Look up when you are walking
- Greet people
- Use the library
- Buy from local merchants
- Take your children to a local park
- Support neighborhood schools
- Talk to the mail carrier
- Hire young people for odd jobs
- Share your skills (volunteer)
Great ideas! What are yours?