TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — A Topeka organization is helping neighborhoods get to know one another in order to prevent crime and they’re among the best in the country at doing it.
Rhonda Cathey and her husband Ron know the names of everyone in their 50 home neighborhood.
“Our neighborhood is an aging neighborhood, so we’re in a transition right now,” said Rhonda. “We have lots of new families coming in and so as new people move in, we reach out and introduce ourselves. “
They’re apart of the Country Club West neighborhood watch. Like many other neighborhood watch groups in Topeka, they work closely with the organization Safe Streets.
“The contacts and the constant information they give us helps us connect with the police department,” said Ron. “It helps us connect with each other and that’s what it’s all about is connecting.”
In an effort to make communities safer, Safe Streets provides information and resources to neighborhoods about what they can do to prevent crime in their area.
“The best way to do this is to get neighbors to know one another,” said Office Coordinator Judy Wilson. “So, we go in and work with them on how to communicate with their neighbors and how to report crime.
To help bring neighbors together, they also put on an event called National Night Out.
Communities all over the country pick a day to host events where neighbors and members of law enforcement can get to know one another better.
“It’s really cool to see everybody coming together,” said Wilson. The neighborhoods really enjoy law enforcement coming out.”
Safe Streets puts on one of the largest national nights out in the country among similar sized communities.
Last year, Topeka’s National Night Out event was the 5th largest in the country.
Through education and growing relationships between neighbors, Safe Streets empowers people to be actively involved in their communities.
“The benefits go beyond crime prevention, too because we’ve planned a neighborhood garage sale, people have become Facebook friends outside of the group,” said Rhonda. “There’s people that we never would have even met probably that are just three blocks away.”
With the help of Safe Streets, these types of relationships are being developed in neighborhoods all over the city.
For more information about Safe Streets, click HERE.