National Night Out a Huge Success

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- Tuesday nights National Night Out event was a bigger success than expected for some neighborhood watch groups.

Instead of it being a simple get-together, more people than ever have decided to join the fight against crime in Lansing.

"I never thought it would be a failure, even if it was just ten it would have been worth it. But it was overwhelming last night," said Pauline Quagliata, coordinator for Neighborhood Watch 430.

After Tuesday, Quagliata says more than fifty percent of her neighborhood has now signed up to be part of the watch.

"It's finally starting to come together, and people are starting to get to know each other," said Quagliata.

(Find a link to Neighborhood Watch 430 at the bottom of this story)

With more people getting involved, the event was a perfect opportunity for neighbors to talk about crimes that would've otherwise gone un-noticed.

"I had three or four people tell me that they had recently had their cars broken into. I wouldn't have heard about it if we had never talked to each other. I've now let the Lansing police know," said Quagliata.

Interim Chief Mike Yankowski used to work the neighborhood beat. He says it's opportunities like this why they continue to do National Night Out.

"We really rely on our neighbors to be the eyes and ears of our neighborhoods. We can't do it without the help of our neighbors," said Yankowski.

A total of 21 neighborhoods participated in this years event, more than ever before. Some of the neighborhoods had more than one hundred people show up.

Yankowski says he's already been getting requests from other area's to start their own watches as well.

"It's a snowball effect and we see that it's contagious and it just gets bigger and bigger each year."

If you want to start your own neighborhood watch all you have to do is contact the Lansing Police Department and they'll get you started.

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