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Meeting to start Midland-area Neighborhood Watch Nov. 18; locals invited

       “I love my neighbors. I think it's a treasure over here.”
       This is the feeling of long-time Midland-area resident Mary Baker, who is taking steps to help keep it that way.
       She has volunteered to start a Neighborhood Watch - a city-supported program for residents or business owners concerned about crime problems.
       To introduce the idea, Baker has scheduled a meeting Friday, Nov. 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Community Partnership for Child Development building, 2330 W. Robinson St., in Rooms 224-225. A representative
An east-looking view shows the residential 2500 block of Robinson Street, about a block and a half before its intersection with Bott Avenue in the Midland area.
Westside Pioneer photo
of the Colorado Springs Police Department has been invited to attend.
       The planned Watch area is Baker's immediate neighborhood around Robinson and Bott Avenue, plus a few blocks around it. The tentative boundaries are 21st Street on the east, Highway 24 on the north, 27th Street on the west and Howbert Street (by Bott Park) on the south. The area includes a number of businesses, especially along Bott Avenue.
       “But I encourage other people to come too,” Baker said. “That way, they can get the information and maybe start their own groups.”
       Her belief is that a Neighborhood Watch can lift people's confidence, knowing that others are keeping their eyes open too.
       Baker hopes to enlist captains for each block in the Watch area.
       The neighborhood initially sprang up in the late 1800s, when the Midland railroad was built
This circa-1910 photo outside the Midland Roundhouse, then a repair facility for the railroad (at present-day 21st Street and Highway 24), shows a group of the workers. More than likely, a number of them lived in the adjacent, then-developing Midland neighborhood.
Courtesy photo
up Ute Pass. It followed the present-day route of Highway 24, and the Roundhouse (restored in recent years as a commercial center at 21st and Bott) was a train repair building. Becauses of that, the Midland area was initially a place where rail workers lived.
       Leading up to the meeting, Baker has been going door-to-door, dropping off booklets given to her by the Police Department's Gold Hill Station crime prevention officer.
       The brochures are titled “Neighborhood/Business Watch: Block Captain's Handbook - A Community Partnership.” The booklet includes crime-prevention tips and resource information.
       The Neighborhood Watch program was started in America in 1972 by the National Sheriffs' Association, as a way to unite citizens with law enforcement officers in reducing crime. According to Police Sergeant Bob Harris, there are now nearly 1,000 Watch programs throughout Colorado Springs.
       Even for people who don't want to get involved in a Neighborhood Watch, the Nov. 18 meeting could serve as an “opportunity to get to know their neighbors, which I think is valuable, anyway,” Baker said.
       She said she was inspired to make this effort after noticing “little things going on” in her neighborhood, especially thefts. “My original intent was to get people together in our little neighborhood,” she said. “A lot of families are moving in with younger kids.”

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 10/31/16; Community: Neighborhoods)

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