New program connects neighbors, helps combat crime

Band of Neighbors developed by Angie's List

INDIANAPOLIS - A new program, developed by Angie’s List with input from the Department of Public Safety, is helping families protect their neighborhoods.

The new tool to try to curb crime is known as the Band of Neighbors program.

The private online forum is designed to help residents easily and quickly post email alerts about everything from lost pets to criminal or suspicious activity.

Larrie Wilkins has lived in his northwest-side neighborhood for 33 years. He is part of the Neighborhood Watch and just recently joined the new program after a wave of recent crime.

"Yeah, it is a big concern. I don't know what's behind it but it just seems that it has become more and more of a concern lately all over the city," Wilkins said.

A message went out Wednesday warning Wilkins and his neighbors about a break-in in a neighborhood just to their north.

"I think it helps strengthen neighborhoods. One of the things I've observed in my years has been the deterioration and disintegration of many neighborhoods. Of course, the weaker the neighborhood is, the more vulnerable it is to crime," Wilkins said.

Lt. Chris Bailey with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said alert neighbors can help prevent crime.

"On the IMPD there's about 1,600 police officers. We can't be everywhere all the time. We need our neighbors to be engaged in their community. They are our eyes and ears in their community," Bailey said.

Bailey said security systems do help. He said it is a good idea to keep shrubs cut back, keep blinds closed, lock all doors and homeowners should not answer the door unless they are expecting someone.

As the holidays are approaching, police said it is a good idea to not advertise expensive purchases.

"You buy a new big-screen TV. You have the box, you put it on your curb for the trash to pick up, you've advertised that you've got a nice 60-inch big-screen TV in your house," Bailey said.

Click here for more information on joining Band of Neighbors -- http://bit.ly/16KwimS

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