The board of United Way of Chaves County hosted Crime Stoppers and Neighborhood Watch at their meeting at the Boys & Girls Club, Wednesday. The purpose of the talk was to discuss safety in Chaves County.
President of Crime Stoppers and Neighborhood Watch advisor Steve Wolfe said that Ros[auth] well has a total of 90 Neighborhood Watch groups, some more active than others. He pointed out that law enforcement resources are stretched and emphasized that all citizens have a part to play in crime prevention. “It’s a program for the community.”
Wolfe gave a brief history of Chaves County Crime Stoppers which was founded in the 1980s and became a 501(c)3 in 1991. The CCCS program had languished, but has found new life in the past 3 years. “Since November 2010, we have given out $10,050 in rewards.”
He said they contracted a call center in LaPorte, Texas, to ensure not only the safety, but the anonymity of their callers. “We don’t want people to worry that someone might recognize their voice.”
Crime Stoppers hopes in the future to provide a means by which callers might text or email.
Roswell Police Department Public Information Liaison Sabrina Morales described the upcoming public access website where people can pick up accident and other reports online. Currently dubbed P2C (police to community), the goal is to have it up and running in the next few weeks.
Wolfe also encouraged people to take advantage of the Prescription Take-back program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, at the Historic Conoco Building, 426 N. Main St.
Board members had questions about how the prescriptions should be packaged. Executive Director of Wings for L.I.F.E. Shelly Currier told the group prescriptions thrown out in the trash should have the pills crushed and the powder mixed with coffee grounds or used kitty litter.
It was also noted that all pill bottles should have any identifying marks, such as patient name, drug type and prescription number obliterated. RPD Community Relations Officer Lisa Brackeen said, “If people see that (the pills) are a controlled substance, they could figure that you got a refill, and you may find yourself a target of a burglary.”
Shelbie Allen of New Mexico Legal introduced the group to a new statewide initiative run by the Attorney General’s Office, the Homeownership Preservation Program, which is designed to help people keep their homes. The HPP was formed in partnership with United South Broadway Corp., New Mexico Legal Aid, Senior Citizens’ Law Office, DNA People’s Legal Services, the Independent Living Resource Center, Tierra del Sol Housing Corp., Comunidades en Accion y de Fe, New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority and Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management Inc.
She said HPP was an underutilized resource. “I’m handling more cases in Las Cruces and Silver City than Roswell.”
The HPP will hold workshops in Roswell and Hobbs soon to teach the homeowner how to represent themselves in court.
She urged people on the board to refer anyone who is facing foreclosure to HPP, alternatively to contact the HPP hotline at 1-855-664-6630, or check their website: keepyourhomenewmexico.org.