Watchful Eye

Mid-Ohio Valley residents normally do a pretty good job of looking out for one another. But as warm weather gives rise to increased outdoor activity – and perhaps more relaxed attitudes toward leaving valuables unsecured or windows cracked open – it is important to remember to report suspicious activity.

Break-ins at a couple of local churches provided an opportunity for Parkersburg Police Chief Joseph Martin to remind the public how important it is to quickly report unusual or suspicious activity, such as people wandering around church grounds when there is no reason to be there, in order to ensure crime waves do not take hold in a neighborhood where the criminals have grown comfortable.

Summer is vacation season. Many of us will be away from home for longer stretches than normal. Though we might all wish we lived in an area – and era – that allowed for leaving doors and windows unlocked and bicycles left out in the front yard, it is irresponsible to harbor such fantasies.

Police patrol as much as they can, but do not have all the information they need to provide 100 percent protection.

“Residents know their neighborhood better than the police do,” Martin said. “They know who should be there and who shouldn’t. All they have to do is notify any officer within the department, and we will looking into any reported suspicious activities.”

When watchful neighbors work with the police, anyone planning to take advantage of warmer weather criminal opportunities is more likely to think twice about taking on such a challenge.