Thursday, June 9, 2022

Township police sponsor ‘Partner Up’ program

Police Chief Scott Hilden
Northville Township Police Department officials are asking all residents to join together to reduce crime, promote problem solving and create safer neighborhoods.

The department is launching Partners in Your Safety, a new program to empower residents to make Northville Township an even safer community. The initial meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, June 13 at township hall in the Assembly Room. The meeting is open to the public.

Partners in Your Safety is an educational program which involves individuals and entire neighborhoods completing a series of program requirements to achieve accreditation status like that which law enforcement agencies undergo. Accreditation ensures officers are performing best practices while serving the community.

It also empowers residents to be the extra set of eyes and ears for law enforcement as they can more easily recognize crimes and report them earlier, officials said.

“This is a great opportunity to bring the entire community together to serve the common good,” said Police Chief Scott Hilden, who founded Partners in Your Safety.

There are three phases of the program. In the first phase, a neighborhood hosts a meeting to outline the program and establish goals for residents to achieve. The goal is as simple as meeting two unknown neighbors, with the idea of promoting an atmosphere where neighbors know and care about one another.

In the second phase, residents attend quarterly Partners in Your Safety meetings, where they meet with Northville Township police officers to learn about crime trends, safety tips and any potential issues that are unique to that neighborhood (i.e. several catalytic converter thefts from vehicles). This opens a dialog with law enforcement, officials said. Another component of this phase is attendance at crime prevention seminars at least twice a year.

The third phase involves posting a Partners in Your Safety sign provided by Northville Township Police at entrances of the neighborhood. This sends a message to potential criminals that this tight-knit community is keeping an eye on one another to prevent crime. Businesses and homes also may display Partners in your Safety sticker decals to send a similar message. The most active participants will earn awards.

“Working together in a partnership with our residents is the ultimate way to keep the community as safe as we can,” said Hilden.

Hilden created similar programs for the Canton Township Police Department and Washtenaw Community College, both of which are successful, he said. 

“I have story after story of how an alert citizen helped stop a crime from happening because of their participation in their community's crime prevention partnership,” Hildon said. 

The involvement of individuals residing in each neighborhood is vital to the success of this program, he added. 

“This is all about community engagement,” Hilden said. “As residents become more involved, they will become aware of incidents and issues occurring in their neighborhoods. When you have 20 percent more people watching out for each other, criminals don't have a chance.”

Anyone interested in becoming a member of Partners in Your Safety or for more information, can contact:Northville Township Police Department, Community Service Ofc. Andrew Domzalski Email: adomzalski@twp. or phone: (248) 349-9400.