Largo residents want their neighborhood watch back

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005




George Takacs refuses to lose his Largo neighborhood to crime and is encouraging his neighbors to stand with him.

Takacs is looking to start a Neighborhood Watch and has already won the support of the Largo Civic Association.

‘‘I am trying to find out what the process is for starting a neighborhood watch,” Takacs said. ‘‘I heard that it is a drawn out process.”

Takacs is attempting to get all of his neighbors together to see what they want to do next and said that it has been difficult because ‘‘it’s hard to get everyone’s schedule in sync.”

According to the USAonwatch.org web site, the idea behind a Neighborhood Watch is to ‘‘bring community members together to reestablish control of their neighborhoods and promote an increased quality of life and reduction of crime in that area.” USAonwatch.org is the main web site for the National Sheriff’s Association Neighborhood Watch Program.

Though Takacs is spearheading the drive, civic association president Chuck Renninger and the rest of the executive board have given their support.

‘‘We had this program in a number of the subdivisions in Largo and some of them still have the signs up,” Renninger said. ‘‘But many of those neighborhoods have changed significantly. New residents have moved in and some of them are not familiar with the program. We want to reactivate it and build on it.”

Takacs said that most people have voiced their support of the Neighborhood Watch program but a few people do not believe that it will do much good.

‘‘Some people don’t think we can make of a difference because they think things are so out of hand,” Takacs said. ‘‘But I don’t really believe that. As soon as you say that, you’re defeated. You turn the place over to people engaged in illegal activities.”

Takacs wants his neighbors to have more control over what happens in their neighborhood and he is determined to see the Neighborhood Watch program succeed.

‘‘I am going to keep plugging away and see what happens. If people are active and other people know we’re active then there is less likelihood that [criminals will] come here.”

E-mail Brooke N. Garner at bgarner@gazette.net.

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