As the current president of the Fresno County Sheriff's Neighborhood Watch Association, I thank Bee reporter Kerri Ginis for publicizing our struggles on March 24 and feel compelled to expand upon some points in the article.
Our goal is to deter crime and reduce the fear of crime, thus improving the fundamental quality of life within the communities we serve. The primary reason Neighborhood Watch is not working is because we desperately need more citizen participation in this collaborative relationship with the Sheriff's Department.
My focus has been and will continue to be on a positive sense of growth and modernization. Sheriff Margaret Mims is obviously enthusiastic about working with us and I have only the highest regard for her and her dedicated people.
The lack of citizen ownership in crime prevention is indeed frustrating, especially after voters insisted that community policing be an integral part of the sheriff's election. They asked for it, they got it. The leadership is in place and now it is time for the public to step up and join in this vital effort, understanding that it is only through this effort that we will have an impact on criminal activity in our county.
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Marilyn J. Kelarjian