Trooper: Watch not suited for Sterling

Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Members of the Sterling Community Coalition Group were told by Alaska State Troopers that a Neighborhood Watch would not be effective in the rural community.

Trooper Capt. Tom Bowman, commander of the Soldotna-based "E" Detachment, told the group the community watchdog program is better suited to urban areas such as Soldotna or Kenai, according to SCCG President Robert Wall.

"What he said was we should get to know our neighbors and watch them. We should know what cars they drive and write down license plate numbers of cars we don't know," Wall said.

"I was kind of surprised 'cause he also talked about faith and values and stuff like that ... the right way to raise our children," he said.

Bowman had been invited to address the Sterling group, which formed recently in hopes of presenting a unified voice to achieve better representation from government.

The coalition wanted to know how to prevent burglaries and combat drug problems in the growing rural community.

Wall said Bowman told the group one of the best tools for recovering items stolen in burglaries is for homeowners to have an inventory of personal property, including serial numbers, in a safe place outside the home.

"He said he's going to give us a digital camera for making our inventories," Wall said.

Current plans call for SCCG to come to residents' homes by invitation to help people make a video of their property.

A flyer outlining the procedure for scheduling a video session will be posted at the Sterling Senior Center, according to Wall.

The next meeting of the coalition is slated for 7 p.m. Aug. 18 at Raven Contractors, Mile 84.5 of the Sterling Highway.

Borough Roads Supervisor Gary Davis will speak on the proposed Funny River bridge project.

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