Gordon L. Wiborg Jr.
Law Enforcement Division, Area of Operations-North, Directorate of Emergency Services, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Directorate of Emergency Services, with its Neighborhood Watch Program, is partnering with Island Palms Community’s Resident Advisory Panel program to reach out to residents on post.
The National Neighborhood Watch Program, which works in close conjunction with the Army’s iWatch Program, provides an opportunity for service members, Department of Defense civilians, family members and others residing within USAG-HI housing areas to directly interface with their local law enforcement officers.
Police stations at both Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks have been actively reaching out to their respective communities to foster and sustain meaningful relationships and communication with one common goal in mind: to make their military communities a safe place to live, work and play.
The Neighborhood Watch Program in each community is a key component in this process.
Working closely together, DES and IPC are also connecting with the community at the RAP meetings, which are held regularly for residents to ask questions, voice their concerns or register complaints.
“These meetings are a real opportunity for us as police officers and USAG-HI representatives, from either DES or IPC, to huddle with our valued community members and hear their concerns and suggestions,” said Officer Mindy Dye, community policing officer. “It also gives us the chance to help educate the residents as to what they can do to make themselves safer and exchange important information that helps the garrison better service our residents.”
Dye is excited about the program, but admits, “We’ve had very low turnout at the RAP meetings. We encourage the residents to come out and spend some time with us, but very few take advantage of this great, free opportunity for service from both IPC (and DES).”
Dye worries that if the attendance doesn’t increase, the continued effort at the meetings may be lost.
“We don’t want to lose this forum; I think it’s one of the best we’ve had in years … but, we need people to come out to them,” Dye said.
DES and IPC encourage residents in all USAG-HI communities and housing areas to contact their local community center or IPC to find out when and where the next RAP meeting is in their neighborhood, as there are multiple opportunities each month.
“Come on out and spend some time with us; we are here to help,” Dye said.