A small crowd experienced their own excitement and expressed gratefulness for a new, growing layer of protection to Lakewood’s homes, schools, businesses, and churches. Elements of the Lakewood Volunteer Patrol (LVP), an all-civilian, civic-minded watch group, made its speaking debut at the monthly meeting of the John Dower Neighborhood Citizen Group on Tuesday evening, Oct. 17 at the John Dower Group’s regular location Trinity Baptist Church on Custer Road and Meadow.
Patrol Coordinator Carol Hudgins and CSO Mike Miller (seated, left to right). District Captains Chris and Debbie Kachman, Jim Cook, and Joe Rodaway (standing, left to right).
Moderated by Gary Buckley of the John Dower Group, this initial, formal presentation of the Patrol was for the purpose of explaining its mission of citizen protection and for inspiring more citizens to join the Patrol now that it is coming out of its pilot stage started.
Accompanying the Lakewood Volunteer Patrol was Lakewood Police’s Community Service Officer (CSO) Mike Miller who has volunteered his time supporting the LVP from its inception.
Patrol Coordinator Carol Hudgins, a Tillicum resident, led the LVP explaining its background and mission. CSO Miller emphasized the LVP is entirely composed of civilians not affiliated with any first responders or other public protective agencies; however, he explained that the Patrol is supported with training and mentoring by volunteers on their own time from those public, emergency resources.
The multi-faceted LVP is designed to patrol all six of Lakewood’s police districts to first observe and immediately report to emergency sources if necessary but also to submit their log of relevant events and suspicious concerns to the police.
Importantly, the LVP can be exactly what many residents want when stopping just short of calling police. A would-be caller fears their call may be ignored for being “too small” to address. However, a collective log from many residents, may contribute to a pattern important for police to know.
The operative roll of the LVP is to observe and report, not to intervene. Some members of the Patrol explained their respective experiences with being a neighborhood activist to “take back their neighborhood” prior to the existence of the Patrol, others emphasized any citizen can participate with the Patrol on any level with maximum flexibility of participation.
For more information on the Lakewood Volunteer Patrol, contact Carol Hudgins. John Dower area residents are welcome at monthly meetings on the third Tuesday at 7 pm at Trinity Baptist Church close to the corner of Custer Road and Meadow. The substance of meetings is posted at www.meettheneighbors.org/ where one must register at that spam-free site and navigate to the John Dower site using code ffd54d or zip code 98499 or contact Gary Buckley at 581-7700.
Submitted by Gary Buckley, Moderator