HUNTINGTON — The Southside Neighborhood Organization will have a safety meeting with Huntington Police Department representatives Thursday.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at Ritter Park’s Shelter No. 1.
Anne Dandelet is the chairperson of the Southside Neighborhood Safety and Security Committee and will host the safety meeting. The committee encourages public safety and awareness with local law enforcement.
Connie Reed Beaty, the president of the neighborhood organization, said Bryan Chambers, the city’s communications director, reached out to her about holding the meeting. She said she hopes residents gain confidence in security after attending the event. She said she feels the neighborhood and the police department have a good relationship.
“We want to be safe. We want our kids to be safe. We want our seniors to be safe,” Beaty said.
Chambers said the city and the police department wanted to set up the meeting to be proactive and address concerns.
He said in recent weeks, the city saw social media chatter regarding incidents in the Southside, such as a few vehicle break-ins and one or two home break-ins.
The meeting will go over safety tips as well as crime data for the Southside neighborhood, he said.
“It’s an effort of the city and the police department to be very proactive to bring good safety tips and recommendations to our neighborhoods and to ensure them that despite a few incidents, their neighborhood is still safe,” Chambers said. “But there are always safeguards or protections that they can take on their own to make their neighborhoods even safer.”
Chambers said if other neighborhood groups want to have a similar meeting, it would not be an issue to schedule it. Since the neighborhood organizations were created in the 1990s, Huntington police officers attend all regular neighborhood meetings in order to discuss public safety concerns and crime data.
Hank Dial, Huntington’s city manager, said meetings like this have been done in the Southside for over 20 years.
Dial, who is a former Huntington Police chief, is scheduled to speak at the meeting. He said meetings like this are a good way for residents to be able to put faces with the department.
“We will be discussing crime prevention techniques and ways to keep the Southside a wonderful place to live,” Dial said.
He said the meeting will detail various public safety topics, like keeping homes and vehicles secure and using the 911 system. Dial said this meeting is the only neighborhood meeting scheduled, but other neighborhoods have had similar events in the past and he expects future meetings to be held in other neighborhoods as well.
According to information from the neighborhood organization, the meeting will focus on what residents can do to make the neighborhood safer. Speakers will include Dial, Interim Police Chief Eric Corder and officer Matt Null. For more information, email SSNO25701@yahoo.com.
Corder did not respond to an email request for comment.