Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:05

Citizens Committed Part 2 Featured

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BREWER - Monday night, in Part 1 of Citizens Committed, we introduced you to a group of Brewer residents working to make their city a safer place.

While the volunteers spread the message "see something, say something" they also work closely with the police department.

It's a partnership city officials say is critical in keeping Brewer secure.

Every few weeks, Brewer residents meet for flier drives to spread the word about the city's neighborhood watch.

"If you see us knocking on your door, why don't you come out and say hi," said Richard Clark.

Clark and his family have lived in Brewer for 20 years, and joined the group after talking to Doctor Adam Lauer about the need for the watch.

"I think I've been walking around with blinders on as far as the problems that we have in our communities with the opioids and the addiction," Clark said.

"There's crime in Brewer, there's crime in Bangor, there's crime in virtually every town," Brewer Neighborhood Watch organizer Doctor Lauer said. "Hopefully that doesn't take anyone by total surprise, but if they're not aware they need to be."

It's something homeowners say can change in the blink of an eye.

"Small changes take place, and all of a sudden I live in a neighborhood where someone was trying to deal heroin," said Michele Daniels, a Brewer resident and member of the neighborhood watch group.

Doctor Lauer says the more people who join, the more likely they are to talk to police.

"If they have a network of eyes and ears on the streets literally, it makes their job a whole lot easier," Dr. Lauer said.

Brewer Public Safety Director Jason Moffitt agrees.

"It's definitely helping us out," Moffitt said.

The police can't prove whether calls come from neighborhood watch members, but Moffitt says the group has surely assisted them.

"There have been drug problems in some neighborhoods and we've addressed those with the help of some people from the group," said Moffitt.

Residents can help police spot problems, but they leave it to the pros to take care of the issues.

"They're not out walking around looking for trouble, they're just looking out for each other, looking out for their neighbors" said Moffitt.

"We're not police officers nor do we carry any official designation or capacity as law enforcement, but we are private citizens, and we all have eyes, ears," Dr. Lauer said.

The police also provide tips so people can stay safe and prevent petty, drug-related crimes. Those tips include installing deadbolt locks, canceling mail when on vacation, and taking loose change out of your car.

Group members say simply knowing your neighbor better makes it easier to look out for one another.

"Each person is different, but each person brings something else into it," said Daniels.

"A lot of people have said thank you, this is overdue," said Dr. Lauer.

It's not just homeowners who are thankful, but city officials too.

"You have my and the council's 100% support," said Mayor Jerry Goss about the neighborhood watch group. "We need to work together for our city."

The simple message "see something say something" is helping residents change Brewer for the better, one step at a time.

"It might just take a community to stick together and keep an eye on each other to make sure some of that element doesn't reach our neighborhoods," said Clark.

The neighborhood watch group's next meeting & flier drive will take place Sunday May 20. For more information about the Brewer Neighborhood Watch Group, visit their Facebook page.

Kayla Fish

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Kayla joined the ABC 7 & FOX 22 news team in May of 2017. She got into journalism because she loves talking with people, and she's incredibly grateful to share the stories of Mainers throughout the region.

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