Block Watches on the Agenda of Barnegat’s Sept. 18 Meeting

Sep 11, 2017

Interested in forming a neighborhood block watch program? Barnegat Township Committeeman Alfonso Cirulli invites you to attend a meeting at the Lillian Dunfee Elementary School on Monday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m.

Cirulli said such crime prevention programs are currently operating in Heritage Point and Pheasant Run.

“I ask that people in other areas in town that would like to start one should come to the meeting,” he said. “We will have police officers there to help them get started.”

He said block watches count on citizens to organize themselves and work with law enforcement to keep a trained eye and ear on their communities. He emphasized that such groups are not vigilantes and should not assume the role of the police.

“Their duty is to ask neighbors to be alert, observant and caring, and to report suspicious activity or crimes immediately to the police,” said Cirulli. “It’s all part of ‘if you see something, say something.’”

He added, “Barnegat is a safe and wonderful town, and this committee intends to keep it that way. In (view) of the drug epidemic we are sending a clear message that if you are selling drugs or attempting to sell drugs in Barnegat, we will find you and send you to jail.”

Cirulli also said the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting DARE education programs in the township public schools.

“We didn’t have it last year because of staffing problems,” the committeeman said. “I can’t stress the importance of drug education and intervention programs. As an educator for 35 years and an assistant principal for more than 11 years, I’ve attended many funerals for drug-related students’ deaths.”

He said that because of economic situations, both parents and grandparents often are involved in a child’s upbringing.

“Parents and grandparents have to keep a close eye on their children and grandchildren,” said Cirulli. “They have to watch who their kids associate with, check their clothing. If they keep a diary, don’t feel bad about reading it. You are their guardians first, friends second. I have told that to parents, that they are guardians first.” —E.E.

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