Alert Neighbors Program Studied

    The length of a sign only gives you so much room to describe something. And while the word 'alert' is certainly central to the crime fighting program, it isn't the only thing neighbors get out of it.

    "Increase hope, increase a sense of security, and certainly increases a sense of empowerment within neighborhoods," said OU professor Chan Hellman, describing what he anticipates he'll find as he begins a study on the impact of having an Alert Neighbors program.

    "Studies like this in the past that we've done, we've captured between 2,000 and 3,000 completed surveys," he said.

    And what will come out of all those surveys?

    "With this data we hope to entice other neighborhoods and more members of the community to become involved in the Alert Neighbors program," said Jennifer Rush, executive director of the Crime Prevention Network.

    The Crime Prevention Network will also have hard data to back up a program that's been making a difference for years.

    "It gets neighbors outside meeting each other and knowing who they live by," she said.

    "It's probably been two or three years ago," said Tulsa resident Betty Stewart.

    That's how long ago the Alert Neighbors program began in Stewart's neighborhood. Did it make a difference?

    "I think it has because people are aware of who lives in this area and who drives by," she said.

    The alerting, unifying, hope fostering, security assuring, empowering neighbors program. They're going to need a bigger sign.

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