So what was Sandy Hill’s reaction when she learned recently she’d be getting a free 10-yard dumper courtesy a home and garden show contest?
“I immediately thought of our Neighborhood Watch,” Sandy said. “Several years ago we got a 20-yard Dumpster. We talked about doing it again. But money’s been tight.”
Sandy’s luck is being shared with the 14 or so other families on tiny Bandelier Drive in the modest Pikes Peak Park neighborhood east of Prospect Lake.
Sandy’s reaction — thinking of her neighbors — is exactly the reflex leaders of Neighborhood Watch are trying to develop across Colorado Springs.
Bandelier Street is a textbook example because one of its residents is Dennis Moore, who has dedicated his retirement to serving as the Colorado Springs Police Department‘s top Neighborhood Watch volunteer.
He helps recruit and train block captains for the program and spreads the gospel of Neighborhood Watch with classes and programs across the city.
Sandy said Dennis has converted everyone on Bandelier to the benefits of Neighborhood Watch.
Neighborhood Watch has enriched her life with its quarterly meetings and annual barbecue.
“When we meet, it’s like family,” Sandy said. “When I go out of town, I tell those around me. They pick up my mail and keep an eye on things. It’s a great neighborhood.”
Bandelier didn’t need a formal Neighobrhood Watch program when Mary Polomus and her husband moved in to their little home in 1961.
“We had a nice neighborhood,” Mary said, sitting on her porch Thursday as Scott Cooper of Bin There Dump That lowered the trash dumper into her yard. She volunteered her home in the middle of the block to host the bin.
“Back then, there were 40 children in this block,” she said, waving at the tidy little homes, many built in the late 1950s with a couple bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms and a single-car garage.
“We raised six children in this house,” Mary said.
“The women would stand in the street in the mornings with our coffee and decide what we were going to do that day.”
She smiled at the memory.
“We left our doors unlocked and we left our keys in the car,” she said. “Those days are gone.”
Although neighbors are friendly, there are no morning sidewalk coffee klatches.
And Mary’s glad to have a new group in the neighborhood to lean on.
“Oh, gosh, I don’t know what I’d do without my neighbors,” she said. “The neighborhood is slowly coming back and Neighborhood Watch is helping.”
The Crime Prevention Website lists classes. Below is a list of some of the current classes and location that are scheduled.
March 5th, 6:30-7:30 P.M., Active Shooter for Citizens at the Sand Creek Division
March 8th, 6-8 P.M., Home Safety at the Falcon Division
March 15th, 6 P.M., Responsible Firearm Ownership at the Gold Hill Division
March 22nd, 7 P.M., Home Security at the Stetson Hills Division
Dennis R. Moore
Neighborhood Watch Coordinator
Sand Creek Division
Colorado Springs Police Department
4125 Center Park Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80916