EDITORIAL — Nutley’s reinvented Neighborhood Watch should set the way

Last week, Nutley Police Chief Tom Strumolo, Det. Lt. Anthony Montanari, and Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco, hosted a meeting at Township Hall to reintroduce residents to the Neighborhood Watch program. Indeed, one began in the 1970s, but thanks to the work of the aforementioned three, the new program should set an example other communities will want to follow in the coming months ahead.

There are a few things that differ from the original program, some more obvious than others. Perhaps the most noted is how social media will play a huge role in the watch, as it has in the world for the last decade, by allowing residents to better assist police in fighting crime. While past neighborhood watches would normally take place from the comfort of one’s home, social media reports will help the police to fight crime significantly better and quicker.

Neighborhoods will be divided into zones, each with captains. Those captains will be required to relay instances of crime of which they are aware to the police.

All of this will be a cooperative effort between the stakeholders, residents, and law enforcement. In fact, countless volunteers have already stepped up and have said “yes” to the call, “yes” to the notion there are fewer greater tools to fighting crime than to report what is witnessed.

We take this time to commend Nutley for taking this pro-active step in light of recent incidents of car thefts, home burglaries and other crimes. 

It is our belief the program, devised by Montanari, Strumolo and Petracco will be one for other municipalities to learn from — and hopefully, follow.

In a case like this one, there is only all to gain and absolutely nothing of significance to lose.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.