Block Watch vital part of crime fighting in Toledo - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Block Watch vital part of crime fighting in Toledo

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Members of Block Watch are the eyes of Toledo Police when the police aren't around.

They report crime when they see it, hoping to make Toledo streets safer.

There are currently 80 Block Watch groups across Toledo, involving hundreds of volunteers.

Toledo Police say these citizen crime fighters are making a big difference.

"Crime has gone down. Block Watch is an element of that. Block Watch helps make the public aware of what's out there," said Toledo Police Sgt. Greg Mahlman.

That's why a training session was held Saturday to make the organization stronger.

Block Watch leaders were taught how to conduct meetings, strengthen leadership skills and increase ranks.

"We're hoping that Block Watch participation will increase, that people will become more aware and educated so they will be more involved," said Block Watch coordinator Tracee Ellis.

Current volunteers say they're proud to be part of a group that promotes citizen empowerment and crime prevention.

"I want to make a difference in my neighborhood," said Kathleen Johnson.

If you want to start a Block Watch group or join one, contact Toledo Police at 419-245-3850.

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