More than 100 people attended a meeting to develop a Neighborhood Watch group in Brightwaters following a perceived uptick in petty crime in the village.
Carmine Chiappetta and a handful of residents coordinated the effort, a first step in creating a crime watch group. Chiappetta said he has received dozens of emails from residents about local crime, and that his own car has been rifled through several times.
Over coffee and cookies at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Public Library Wednesday night, residents swapped stories about burglaries in their neighborhoods, before hearing from Chiappetta and Suffolk County Third Precinct Officer David Savage about the potential benefits of creating — and sustaining — crime watch groups.
Chiappetta said the most important thing is for the Neighborhood Watch effort to find a way to effectively disseminate information on local crimes without panicking residents by blasting out emails every time a car alarm goes off.
“That’s all we’re here to do, to coalesce as a community and regain that feeling of safety we’ve become accustomed to,” Chiappetta said.
Richard Garrone, 62, said he moved to Brightwaters from Massapequa Park six years ago and came to the meeting to see what type of crimes his neighbors had experienced. A retired NYPD sergeant, Garrone said he and his wife love the quiet and safety of Brightwaters.
“That’s why this is out of the ordinary,” he said of the break-ins. “But I guess it’s the economy; it’s a sign of the times.”
The group will meet again on April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the library.