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Ogden Avenue Block Watch

National Night Out 2007
Press Room
National Night Out
Our Block Watch
Contact The Blockwatch
Upcoming Events
Blockwatch Information from the Columbus Police Department

Safety tips

Vigilance and preparation are keys to remaining safe during the summer and year-round. The Columbus Police Division offers these tips:

  • Walk with confidence. Travel with someone if possible. Look like you know where you're going.

  • Avoid shortcuts through dark alleys and deserted streets.

  • Do not carry large amounts of money. Hold a purse close to your body. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket or side pants pocket.

  • If you are attacked, try not to panic. If the attacker wants only money or possessions, don't fight.

  • When entering your home or car, have your keys in hand.

  • Keep house doors and windows locked.

  • When you're on vacation, ask a friend or neighbor to check your home regularly. Stop mail and newspaper deliveries.

  • Keep your car in good working order and the gas tank filled.

  • Keep your car doors locked. When stopped or slowed in traffic, close your windows.

  • Park in well-lighted areas. Check the inside of your car before you enter.

  • Avoid using ATMs at night or when a suspicious person is nearby.

  • Beware of summer scams relating to home repairs and improvements. Always check insurance, licensing and references. Don't sign a contract on impulse.

  • Report all crimes to police. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.

Source: Columbus Division of Police

Neighbors combat crime with bonding
Unity seen as best safety tool during National Night Out
Wednesday,  August 8, 2007 3:33 AM
With plenty of games, music and cool drinks to beat the heat, several Columbus-area neighborhoods threw crime a going-away party yesterday as part of National Night Out.

The annual event, which celebrated its 24th year nationwide, aims to link neighbors, law-enforcement officers and community officials to heighten crime awareness and strengthen neighborhood bonds.

Neighborhood associations and block-watch groups from across Columbus planned the gatherings, placing their own spin on the national event.

Columbus Division of Police Lt. Donald Cade said the citywide events symbolize unity among neighborhoods, community leaders and police.

"They are drawn to it because people are tired of crime," Cade said. "It's an opportunity to get up and voice their opinions in a peaceful manner and celebrate with their neighbors."

Six animals, including a flamingo, alligator and armadillo, were on hand from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to entertain the about 200 people at a Hilltop celebration.

Zoo promotions assistant Shawn Brehob carried an African ball python near a group of children holding plates of Oreos and hot dogs at the three-hour cookout on S. Ogden Avenue.

"You eat every day, right? Well, he eats once a month," Brehob told the kids of the 4-foot-long snake. He was answered by a chorus of screams and giggles.

Hilltop resident Anna Young, 27, said she purchased her S. Ogden Avenue home after touring it during last year's National Night Out.

"I didn't know this community togetherness was something I wanted until I saw it in action," she said. "I thought it was nice."

Young spent time yesterday meeting neighbors and city officials, and learned that she attends the same church as two City Council members.

Cade, who helped coordinate some of last night's gatherings, said more than 40 planned events in the city were designed to send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back, because "one of the greatest deterrents for crime is just having people out."

At Finland Elementary School in Franklin Township, Westbrook-Eastfield Neighborhood Association President Juanita Kaufman surveyed the crowd during a live auction.

Township resident Kaufman, 85, has been helping coordinate her block watch's National Night Out event for 11 years and said she's seen the positive effects of neighborhood bonding.

"We've kept car break-ins down, alerted neighbors to suspicious people wandering around and worked close with police," she said.

"This just makes for a better place to live."

Video and article from NBC 4