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Online crime group works to get established

Posted: September 8, 2013 - 6:47pm

A Facebook group called Kenai Peninsula Crime, created at the end of July, is getting organized in an effort to decrease crime on the Peninsula.

Five people from the social networking group of more than 2,200 attended a leadership meeting at Tom and Adele Bearup’s Soldotna home on Thursday.

Robert Hughes, who started the group after his son’s bike was stolen as a way to encourage people to watch for stolen property, said he didn’t know the group would grow as much as it has.

Even though the group has members from throughout Alaska and in the Lower 48, the small group on Thursday decided board members should be from the Peninsula. They talked about having representatives from each area, similar to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

The group discussed its focus and writing a mission statement based on Hughes’ concept of “helping people to help people,” encouraging people to be observant of crime and keeping their neighbors informed. Along with that basic idea as a part of its statement, the group wants to incorporate the goal of “taking criminals off the street” by educating people about working with law enforcement and reporting crimes.

“I want (police and troopers) to work with us, not against us,” Tom Bearup said.

Bearup, who worked in law enforcement for 14 years, talked to the group about educating people about being observant of crime and giving law enforcement information that is useful. People need to know how to give a full suspect and vehicle description. Most people carry a camera phone, he said, so they can take a photo or video to present to police or troopers for evidence. Witnesses also should write down what happened immediately after the crime occurred. People need to let officers do their job and not take on a situation unless it is critical, he said.

Darren Bearup, Tom and Adele’s son who has worked with electronics for 18 years, spoke to the group about alarm systems and security cameras. He said prices vary for security equipment, but “something is better than nothing.” For cameras to be effective, he said, they should be placed in well-lit areas and near a heat source in the winter, if possible. He advised the group not to share the security setup with anyone.

“If you trust your neighbor, have them check on your home when you’re away,” Darren said.

The group talked about knowing your neighbors and others in the group to help one another. Nancy Whiting of Nikiski said she knows all her neighbors, but most of them don’t know one another very well. This group, she said, is “kind of a big neighborhood watch.”

Tom said along with getting citizens involved and working with law enforcement, the group needs to talk to local politicians and make them hear the group’s concerns. He also wants the group to work to make current laws more effective to hold criminals accountable.

“As citizens we need to stand up, and that’s what it’s all about,” Tom said.


Kaylee Osowski can be reached at

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Citizen 1
Citizen 1 09/09/13 - 10:33 pm
Hate hate and more hate

I was recommended to join this group on Facebook. I thought it might me helpful to know when large disturbances are ongoing like bomb threats, standoffs, road closures, school shootings, etc.
While the page administrators and organizers are onto something and have the best of intentions all the posts and replies are "I heard this..." "If they try that I'll..." and "I've got a loaded ---- ready to blow away whoever tries----." It's just gross and disheartening to read about all the fear and hate and soooo many people spouting that they have loaded guns at the ready next to their door in case some one creepy comes by. Or drives too slowly in their neighborhood.
Like I said, the intentions are well an good, but if it just ends up getting people scared and cling to their guns that everyone is out to get them, that the police can't protect them and they need to band together and do it themselves, it does NOT bring the community together. It makes me scare to take my children to your neighborhood. I'll want to keep them home, away from the idiots who are scared of the bushes. Who might shoot first and ask questions later.

Norseman 09/10/13 - 05:54 am
You are right about hate. I

You are right about hate. I HATE thieves, rapists, home invaders, drug dealers, and sex offenders. I am happy to hear that some Alaskans besides myself will not hesitate to protect their family from any scumbags who are bent on harming them.

spwright 09/10/13 - 11:16 am
Response to Citizen 1

Tue 9/10/13 Citizen 1, I have attended in person most of the meetings of the Kenai Peninsula Crime Group & NOT once have I heard or witnessed Threatening Behavior?

Your statement baffles me ?

Yes there is Verbal Disagreements over numerous issues but That is Freedom of Speak & Democracy. Occasional there is a heated & passionate exchanges between members but I have never witnessed what I would call "Threatening Behavior" & the use of Guns & Violence.

It's NOT Important or a Emergency because it has not happened to me yet. When Your Home is Invaded, Trashed, Insulted & Disrespected THEN it's a Emergency. Then People get Involved & Demand Attention & Results.

Local Neighborhood Watch Programs is the Goal of this Group. This is just getting started & growing each week.

Mr. Hughes & Mr. Bearup do a excellent job of controlling the meetings but they can't Do It Alone. More Volunteers are needed & more People to Show Up & Participate. SPW

JohnPeterZenger 09/10/13 - 03:41 pm

citizen 1 didn't speak of any behavior at any meetings.

citizen 1 refers to the online comments.

If you read those comments, citizen 1's comments are well founded.

spwright 09/10/13 - 05:11 pm

Tue 9/10/13 All of the statements that You refer to must have happened several weeks ago & before I became involved in this group. Late August 2013
I have read almost every message & communication & never experienced any Hostile or Threatening messages ?

Not saying that didn't happen, I am saying I have not read any messages like that.

Mr Bearup & Mr. Hughes have Control of these Meetings & they monitor what is being communicated with Facebook.

It's getting Better. I encourage Citizen 1 to try again & participate with Kenai Pen. Crime Group.


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