Foggy Bottom is moving closer to creating a Neighborhood Watch program now that a senior student and community leader has joined forces with the Second District’s Citizens Advisory Council.
Spearheading the effort is the CAC chair Samantha Nolan and GW senior Lev Trubkovich – vice president of the Foggy Bottom Association and new member of the CAC.
“I was shocked and knew something had to change,” Trubkovich said after he learned that Police Service Area 207, which includes GW’s Foggy Bottom campus, “is the only service area in the Second District without a neighborhood watch.”
While the area around GW’s campus is served by multiple law enforcement agencies, particularly the University Police Department on campus, the Neighborhood Watch would be an additional security measure.
“A neighborhood watch is comprised of trained citizens who become the eyes and ears of the neighborhood, which will be extremely helpful because police have priorities and cannot be everywhere,” Trubkovich said.
Among the residents who Nolan and Trubkovich are hoping will volunteer are students who live in the area.
“In terms of student involvement, I want us to be part of the Neighborhood Watch,” Trubkovich said. “I am positive we won’t be able to do this without student help.”.
Some students interviewed say they support the plans.
“Neighborhood watches are a good idea because they create a sense of community, and if something were to happen it’s good to know that they’ve got my back,” said Alan Tran, a freshman.
Others said they were not as happy about the efforts to create the new safety program.
“[A neighborhood watch] is a stupid idea because there’s no way for it to work. I think it’s a noble but ultimately futile attempt to keep GW safe because in reality they don’t actually prevent crime,” said Raj Mainthia, a junior.
The Neighborhood Watch for PSA 207 is still in the planning stages for now.
“I hope that it will be recognized in a couple of months and successful in a year,” Trubkovich said.
Nolan said in an e-mail that she hopes she will have the program started in March, but despite all this planning, nothing is possible without residential involvement.
“We need someone who is willing to be the director and keep contact with all the block captains for the program to work,” Nolan said.