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Community watch meeting slated


A follow-up “community watch” meeting in Coulee Dam has been set for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Almira/Coulee Dam Community Church, according to Ed Bartley.

A feeling that the crime rate in Coulee Dam was rising rapidly spurred the first meeting early in December, with about 50 people showing up.

Bartley chaired the meeting then and will again when the follow-up meeting is held.

That meeting will put some meat on the bones with some specific suggestions of how community members can help fight crime, not as vigilantes, but by cooperating with one another and reaching police immediately when they see suspicious activities in their neighborhoods.

Bartley is a retired police officer with some 50 years in law enforcement, and provided those attending the first meeting with packets of information on how community watches work.

Bartley said Tuesday that he would like to get specific about the watch program. “The watch program is the people’s, not mine,” he said. “I want their input and ideas.”

Bartley said he would like to explore putting up signs, maybe breaking the town into smaller units and get law enforcement officers to the meeting.

The alarm sounded in Coulee Dam after community members suffered a rash of burglaries and vehicle prowls, some of them considered brazen.

The Coulee Dam police department at the time had been operating short handed, and since that time has added one veteran officer.

People had complained about things stolen from their decks and garages. A motorcycle had been stolen from the side of a residence, and several car prowls had heightened the concern.

Bartley asks for persons to attend who are concerned about crime and who would want to work with others in the community watch.

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