The Drexel Hill Town Watch Association met Sunday afternoon to discuss crime in the neighborhood, including the search for a suspect who allegedly exposed himself to children in Upper Darby Township.
Upper Darby Township Mayor Tom Micozzie and Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood spoke to about twenty neighbors at the meeting about the importance of town watch groups.
Micozzie said because there are 32,000 houses and 82,000 residents of Upper Darby Township, each neighborhood within the township needs to have a town watch program in place to keep the lines of communication open.
Drexel Hill Town Watch captain, Chuck Mcdonald says an email chain is now in place so neighbors are informed of any crimes committed in their community. A website has also been established with details of recent events in the neighborhood.
Chitwood said he felt it was important to talk to residents about the recent incidents involving a suspect who tried to lure a child and who exposed himself to children. There have been five incidents in Upper Darby Township since February 19th. The most recent was March 6th at Church and Radbourne, in this case the suspect did not expose himself, but he did try to lure a 14-year-old boy into his vehicle, said Chitwood.
Chitwood told NBC10 he wants the community to be vigilant, but not to panic.
"I'm sort of warning people that we have someone who is sick, a criminal and the potential for escalation based on my experience is there. I also don't want people to be afraid to walk out of their house or send children to school because that's not the case, we don't have somebody who is grabbing kids and throwing them into the back of a van and doing something horrible to them. I don't want that to happen and that's why it's important that we went out to the public," said Chitwood.
Micozzie added that all town watch captains undergo criminal background checks and are taught how to communicate vital information about crimes to community members.
"Our main purpose or focus here today is to talk about the importance of a town watch having block captains and each community member taking ownership of their streets," said Micozzie.