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Meeting to organize community against crime


An organizational community watch meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. at the Almira/Coulee Dam Community Church.

The meeting is a follow-up to an initial meeting held early in December, and is being organized by Ed Bartley. About 50 people showed up at the first meeting, alarmed by reports of burglaries and car prowls in Coulee Dam.

Bartley, who has had about 50 years of experience in law enforcement-related activity, drew out concerns local residents had at the first meeting, and stated that organizing against crime would be the task at a follow-up meeting.

He encouraged residents at the first meeting to attend, along with others interested in curbing crime.

Coulee Dam Police Chief Paul Bowden said last week that he planned to attend. Officers from Colville Tribal Police and Grand Coulee were at the December meeting.

This meeting will test just how interested community members are about actually doing something about crime. Tuesday’s meeting could determine if residents want to organize in block watches or do some sort of community-wide program.

Signage, ways of communicating, and methods that assist police coverage, will all be on the table on Tuesday.

Bartley emphasized the need for a good turnout.

He sees the watch effort extending to Grand Coulee, Electric City and Elmer City, as well as on tribal land.

“We need to let our county officials know that we need better cooperation from commissioners and the court systems,” Bartley stated.

He also stated that the watch effort needs people to step forward and get involved if the effort is to go anywhere.

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