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Neighborhood Watch Program

Sage Lake Association Neighborhood WatchNW%20sign_1

Overview:
The Sage Lake Association is a 60+ year-old lake association located in Ogemaw County, Michigan. Six years ago the association applied for non-profit status and became a 501-3c non-profit organization and has grown from a 50-family association to a 300-family association. In the past the association’s focus has been on the maintenance of the lake and surrounding watershed and in the past six years its focus has grown to include the quality of life of the community. The association is now involved in providing: fishing clinics for children, Marine Boater Safety Classes, 4th of July fireworks, Fun Day for children, a family 5K event, and a website for use by its members – www.sagelake.org. We work with the Ogemaw County Sheriff to provide a Marine Deputy that is dedicated to ensuring the safety of our lake and we host numerous social events.

All of this has been provided to all lake residents regardless of whether they are association members or not.  In 2012, the Sage Lake Association raised the membership dues to $35.00 per family, per year.  We encourage all residents and the community to join our organization.  (Please see the Membership Page of this website)

Introduction:
In 2012 it became apparent to the members of the association and the Board of the Sage Lake Association that as an association we needed to strengthen and secure our community through disaster preparedness, crime prevention, and emergency response. It had been pointed out to us that the budgets of both the Sheriff’s office and State Police were being reduced and patrols would be decreased. It was also pointed out to us that since much of our population is retired and aging we should be concerned about taking care of those seniors who have special needs should there be a natural disaster.

As we began the discussion and planning to address disaster preparedness, crime prevention and emergency response we realized that we could address all of those issues using the “Neighborhood Watch” program if we included Homeland Security guidelines and do this for the entire lake community. For the purposes of the Neighborhood Watch we would also include some commercial areas that are within a mile of the lake as part of the coverage area. Many of our community members are people who do not live here year round. Their homes are used primarily as second homes and are visited only on the weekends. There are others who are retired and live in our community only part of the year. A smaller population lives here year round.

Taking this into consideration our Neighborhood Watch model will involve as much of the community that can be involved during the summer and winter. It will rely heavily on volunteers and patrolling, along with education and training. It will require that we put in place plans to react to a natural disaster, a plan for a crime prevention program and a plan for taking care of our senior community members who have special needs. We will use the Homeland Security guidelines as much as we can and encourage the community to become the extra eyes and ears of law enforcement.

Mission:
To prepare us to help members of our community during times of emergency and support our local law enforcement in crime prevention. In order to do this we will have take action to impact the Sage Lake Community’s disaster preparedness, crime prevention activities and our ability to respond to emergencies.

We will do this by:

  • helping our local police department, by becoming the eyes and ears of the community
  • establishing a visual presence, which will increase the visibility of our crime prevention efforts
  • establishing a zone where criminals fear the risk of being caught is too high for them to practice their profession
  • uniting the business community with the citizens and the local government
  • providing training to community residents to better secure their assets
  • ensuring that seniors in our community who have special needs are taken care of during emergencies and create a plan to ensure this
  • establishing an emergency/disaster preparedness plan and communicate it to the community

Sage Lake Association Neighborhood Watch benefits
The expected benefits to implementing the Neighborhood Watch are:
Crime reduction
A greater sense of security
A plan for our community to help ourselves during emergencies
Provide law enforcement with support year round
Build community pride and unity

Neighborhood Watch Organizational structure:
The Sage Lake Association is a 501-3c non-profit organization so any donations to the Neighborhood Watch are tax deductible. In order to provide for as much security as possible the Board of Directors for the NW will be comprised of:
President of the SLA
Vice President of the SLA
One person appointed by the SLA Board
A person from the Sage Lake Community who is not a member of the SLA

There will be one Summer Watch Commander and one Winter Watch Commander who will be responsible to:
Train Patrol Volunteers in all aspects of their roles
Establish rules of conduct
Schedule patrols
Be responsible for equipment
Develop emergency preparedness plan
Provide training and seminars to the community on home security
Patrol Volunteers will take direction from their Watch Commanders.

All members of the Neighborhood Watch including board members will be required to submit to a background check prior to joining the NW.

If you would be interested in joining the Neighborhood Watch program or learning more about it, please contact Tom Unangst at tomunangst@aol.com or (989) 473-3068.

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