USAG-HI, IPC focus on safety prevention: ‘National Night Out’ shows Army families how to live safer lives, create safer communities on, off post

| August 12, 2011 | 0 Comments
Mark Brown | Island Palm Communities Valerie Jargo-Fowler (left) plays a trivia game with Teresa Thibodeau, property management coordinator, IPC, at IPC’s Safety Booth that shared home safety tips and information with keiki and parents. (Mark Brown | Island Palm Communities)

Mark Brown | Island Palm Communities Valerie Jargo-Fowler (left) plays a trivia game with Teresa Thibodeau, property management coordinator, IPC, at IPC’s Safety Booth that shared home safety tips and information with keiki and parents. (Mark Brown | Island Palm Communities)

Vickey Mouzé
Pau Hana Editor

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Stryder Somers, 5, is learning how to protect himself by breaking boards in half with his feet.

He jumps, kicks and yells – loudly – as he kicks the board.

Making loud noises, like yelling, attracts attention and scares off the bad guys, said Ervin Dixon, who owns Dixons Taekwondo, the school Stryder attends. Dixon, along with Stryder and nine other students, participated in National Night Out at the Kalakaua Community Center, Aug. 2, here.

National Night Out teams up communities, law enforcement agencies and civic groups one night a year to focus on crime and drug prevention.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and Island Palm Communities co-partnered the event, here, and at Aliamanu Military Reservation, to teach residents not only how to fight crime but also general safety techniques.

IPC estimated that between 400-500 residents attended the North community event and that between 200-300 residents attended the South community event.

“Stryder has become more confident since he started taking taekwondo lessons,” said his mother, Sharon, whose husband is assigned to the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. Stryder has been enrolled in taekwondo for about a year.

Dixon’s school was just one of 25 organizations at the event. Other activities included a bicycle rodeo, fingerprinting for keiki, and the military working dog section from the 13th Military Police Detachment, 8th MP Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

As Master Sgt. Anthony Doucet, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Schofield Barracks Police Station, watched the working dog demonstrations, here, that evening, he said communities must come together to help MPs reduce crime.

Isabella Henderson (center) and her sister Emma Henderson (right) prepare to complete a keiki I.D. card with help from their dad, Michael Henderson. (Mark Brown | Island Palm Communities)

Isabella Henderson (center) and her sister Emma Henderson (right) prepare to complete a keiki I.D. card with help from their dad, Michael Henderson. (Mark Brown | Island Palm Communities)

Doucet thinks the Neighborhood Watch program is one of the best ways to do that.

“Neighbors can meet once or twice a week at the community’s park and get to know one another,” he suggested.

Doing so offers a forum for neighbors to raise concerns and offer solutions.

“(Neighbors’) kids know more about you than (your neighbors) do, because (kids are) outside all the time,” Doucet said. “Kids know when you leave for work and when you return. And they know when you go on vacation.”

USAG-HI’s Neighborhood Watch was resurrected earlier this year, after a recommendation to do so was made at the garrison’s Army Family Action Plan Conference, here, in February. However, despite the recommendation, the program has suffered from low participation. To be viable, residents must participate.

“The No. 1 concern of the community is reducing crime,” said Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI. “We’ve had a lot of interest in community-oriented policing, so I’m hoping residents will participate in the Neighborhood Watch program.”

Stryder Somers (in black uniform) prepares to break a board in half with his foot by first leaping over a classmate. Students from Dixons Taekwondo demonstrated self-defense techniques at National Night Out, Schofield Barracks, Aug. 2. (Vickey Mouzé | U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs)

Stryder Somers (in black uniform) prepares to break a board in half with his foot by first leaping over a classmate. Students from Dixons Taekwondo demonstrated self-defense techniques at National Night Out, Schofield Barracks, Aug. 2. (Vickey Mouzé | U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs)

Two Department of the Army police officers are assigned to each area: Officer Mindy Dye is at Schofield Barracks and Officer Susan Manuma is at Fort Shafter.

Manuma and Dye meet with community leaders and members; attend Resident Advisory Council, or RAP, meetings; train volunteers to work within their communities; and strengthen the Neighborhood Watch Program.

Crimes within U.S. Army Hawaii generally fall into three categories: crimes against property and persons and traffic offenses, such as driving under the influence on and off post.

Assaults and child abuse make up crimes against persons; 73 percent of USARHAW crimes are domestic assaults, according to USAG-HI’s Directorate of Emergency Services.

Burglary, housebreaking, larceny and damage on private property are categorized as crimes against property. Most of these in USARHAW are “crimes of opportunity,” according to DES. Many could be prevented by using crime-fighting tips, such as securing or locking vehicles and residences, instead of leaving them open for intruders.

However, residents and employees should not take any of these short-term statistics as trends, said Gordon Wiborg Jr., deputy chief of police, Area North, Law Enforcement Division, DES. Many crimes of opportunity are cyclical in nature, rising and falling during summer vacations and school holiday breaks.

Crime fighting resources

USAG-HI, along with DA, offers a variety of ways to report and to fight crimes against persons and personal property. Here’s a listing of handy phone numbers and websites, all focused on empowering you and your family:

Report suspicious activity

  • On post
    Fort Shafter Police Station at 438-7114
    Schofield Barracks Police Station at 655-7114
  • Off post
    Call 911.

Report sexual assault and domestic violence

  • MPs at Fort Shafter, 438-7114
  • MPs at Schofield Barracks, 655-7114
  • 24/7 victim advocate SAFE line at 624-7233

Contact family advocacy

  • Army Community Service, Schofield Barracks, at 655-4779
  • ACS, Fort Shafter, at 438-9285
  • Schofield Barracks Health Clinic at 433-8579
  • Tripler Army Medical Center at 433-6606
  • Child Protective Services at 832-5300

Get involved

  • IPC Resident Advisory Panel
    Call your community manager for details and volunteer opportunities.
  • Questions and rumor control
    Address with USAG-HI’s DES at 656-6750.

Use crime fighting tips

  • DES offers the following tips to fight crimes of opportunity:
  • Lock your vehicle at all times, even when the vehicle is in the driveway. Don’t leave property, such as iPods, wallets, cameras or money, in vehicles.
  • Lock your residence, including windows and sliding doors.
  • Document all electronics’ serial numbers and take photos. Any documented information will be helpful if property is stolen and is a great record for insurance purposes.
  • Whenever there is an incident, such as a hit-and-run accident or a suspicious vehicle, get the vehicle plate number. This action will help MPs solve the crime.

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Category: Community

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