Written by Steve Mosco, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 21 November 2013 00:00
The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone — and one community organization is looking to help Plainview-Old Bethpage residents achieve piece of mind when it comes to safety.
The Concerned Citizens of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Community announced their free Annual Holiday Community Safety Forum Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library, 999 Old Country Rd. This year’s program includes something for every resident with a presentation from the coordinator of Community Affairs from the Nassau County Task Force Against Gangs and the Nassau County Police Department Second Precinct POP Unit, as well as free photo ID cards and fingerprints.
Organizers believe the community must have timely information on Internet safety and cyber-bullying and the Community Affairs Police Officer will present their up-to-date expertise on those and many other topics. Attendees will learn how to monitor their children’s usage of multiple modes of electronics and social media networks, as the emergence of cyberspace has created a new forum for childhood danger.
“This forum will be a reality check for residents who attend,” said Carol Meschknow, president of Concerned Citizens. “This is timely information that we’ll be discussing. There will be plenty of talk about cyber-bullying, but also the police will be on hand to talk about guarding against all sorts of crime.”
Concerned Citizens is a community that started in 1996 as a neighborhood watch program and has since been elevated with the help of Internet communication. Meschkow recalls an incident a few years ago when a woman was abducted from the parking lot of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library and a Concerned Citizen member recognized a police sketch of the suspect — cops were able to locate the man, and his victim, a short time later in the area.
At the coming meeting, Meschkow said the Second Police Precinct Problem Oriented Police Unit will discuss holiday safety tips, including how to keep homes and personal property safe, as well as offer an update on local crimes. She added that it is important for residents to get to know thier local precinct, as doing so helps local law enforcement know neighborhood “trouble spots” and keeps them abreast about general community concerns.
“The police are very approachable and very informal about how they conduct the question and answer session,” she said. “The police know that many crimes only get solved through tips, so they want to keep the lines of communication open.”
Ongoing all evening from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., residents of all ages — children, college students, adults and senior citizens — can sign-up for free photo ID cards and fingerprints. This service is provided in the auditorium in cooperation with the New York Masonic Safety ID Program. Photos and ID data will be saved to a disc for family records only. This information is not stored to any database.
“One lost child affects the entire community,” she said. “This is a program that will expand police effectiveness and expand the eyes and ears of the community.”
Meschkow said residents can expect local officers to share recent crime reports, revealing the peaks and valleys of criminal activity in and around the community.
According to Meschkow, it is important for residents to listen up when local law enforcement has information to share.
“Our Nassau County Police Department has information to share, which is beneficial in keeping our community and children safe,” she said. “Further, having up to date identification is extremely important for residents of all ages in the event of an emergency, accident, etc. and a wonderful new service we are happy to include in this year’s Holiday Safety Forum.”