Neighborhood Watch groups exist in several Wheeling neighborhoods, and they are helpful in ways other than assisting law enforcement officers.
In that role, however, the organizations can provide invaluable eyes and ears for the Wheeling Police Department. Neighborhood Watch members can spot unusual goings-on in their areas and, when crime does occur, can provide information that helps police catch the culprits.
Again, the groups provide many other services, including watching out for people and property and, when necessary, providing those who need it with help.
But Neighborhood Watch groups suffer one weakness - lack of participation. Too many Wheeling residents are not active in the organizations.
A joint meeting of all the city's Neighborhood Watch groups is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Louis' Famous Hot Dogs, in the Elm Terrace Shopping Plaza in Elm Grove. The meeting will serve to build camaraderie among Neighborhood Watch members, allow them to compare notes, and give members and law enforcement officers an opportunity to interact.
If you are not a Neighborhood Watch member, you may want to attend the Wednesday meeting to learn more about the Neighborhood Watch program and how it can make your area - and perhaps you - more secure. The more people who participate in the program, the more effective it can be.