When you drive into Pastime Place in the Village Seven neighborhood of Colorado Springs, pay attention to the Neighborhood Watch signs on the light pole.
These folks mean it.
Especially Charlotte Mock. She’s been the Neighborhood Watch block captain since 1978.
That is 33 years of watching her neighborhood. At 69, Charlotte remains committed to the program and is as enthusiastic as ever.
On Tuesday, despite heavy rain, she and her husband, Ken, carried on with their National Night Out festivities between downpours.
They dried off their chairs, built a fire in their pit and invited neighbors out to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
Officer Bob Harris of the Colorado Springs Police Department stopped by to encourage the group and reinforce the Neighborhood Watch message of neighbors helping each other to stay safe.
National Night Out festivities are a tradition on Pastime Place thanks to the Mocks. They have been coordinating Neighborhood Watch events three times a year for decades.
They have a Christmas party, a Fourth of July parade and the Night Out in August.
This year they had a dessert buffet and celebrated a neighbor’s birthday. They scrapped a planned sing-along due to the weather.
Protecting the neighborhood is important to Charlotte and Ken.
Over the years, they’ve seen the benefits of being aware of strangers in the cul de sac.
Several times they’ve notice intruders and stopped burglaries in progress.
They’ve also seen fringe benefits.
By taking the time to get to know their neighbors, they’ve made new friends.
And the process has opened lines of communication that make it easier for neighbors to resolve conflicts that seem to arise from time to time in every neighborhood.
Charlotte is so commited she has created a little welcome tradition for newcomers to Pastime Place. She makes cookies and introduces herself.
In addition, she gives new residents a map of the street with names and phone numbers of the neighbors to help them get to know everybody.