As a response to crime in the 1960s, the National Sheriffs’ Association created the Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972 to help citizens help each other and law enforcement.
It appears that the Olde Forge/Surrey Square Neighborhood Watch had started being just that. I have annual newsletters for the Olde Forge Neighborhood Watch from October 1993 through February 2008. During this time, there were two Neighborhood Watches. If I had to guess, it appears that Olde Forge ceased operation for a while, while Surrey Square kept going. At some point, and I don’t know when, perhaps with the creation of the OF/SS Civic Association, the two watches were rejoined.
As you know, 2017 was a year in which we reinstituted the OF/SS Neighborhood Watch. We now have slots for the same 23 blocks, but only 10 block captains across the two subdivisions. But here is another point of interest. On the website http://www.crimereports.com you can find the Olde Forge and Surrey Square subdivisions, in which very little crime has been reported over the past ten years. Graphically displayed on Google maps, the lack of incidents within the neighborhood is impressive.
As coordinator for the Olde Forge/Surrey Square Neighborhood Watch, I will help support and help organize those residents who believe in having a neighborhood watch. There are opportunities to receive authorized Neighborhood Watch Training from the Crime Prevention department of the West Springfield Police District. We do have the materials that cover the bulk of the training, and the patrols carry a brief case with them that contains updated procedures, and very nice new magnetic signs for the cars. A visible presence of the Neighborhood Watch is a good thing for Olde Forge and Surrey Square. There is plenty of space for more block captains and more patrollers. Feel free to join with us and keep this neighborhood safe!
-- John Firsching, Olde Forge / Surrey Square Neighborhood Watch Coordinator