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Training begins for Hillside Park neighborhood watch program

Recorder/Paul Franz
Joel Borgerson plays with his 3 year old daughter Siri at Hillside Park in Greenfield last September. This summer, neighbors are taking steps to make the park safer by joining a neighborhood watch program.

Recorder/Paul Franz Joel Borgerson plays with his 3 year old daughter Siri at Hillside Park in Greenfield last September. This summer, neighbors are taking steps to make the park safer by joining a neighborhood watch program. Purchase photo reprints »

GREENFIELD — The Hillside Park neighborhood watch program has kicked off a monthlong training series to teach those involved how to make themselves, their neighbors and their properties safer.

Greenfield Police Department will provide the training to teach any Greenfield resident, who would like, how to become less vulnerable.

Last year, residents of the Hillside Park area complained about crime in their park and decided they wanted to take back their park, saying “enough is enough.”

The town and neighbors have been holding more events in the park since it reopened this spring, and the town plans to install a splash park there. Several years ago the town renovated the entire playground with Community Development Block Grant money.

Last year, neighbors complained to police and town leaders that people were drawing graffiti on picnic tables and play structures and were destroying property and dealing drugs in the park.

Mayor William Martin, Greenfield police, the town’s Public Safety Commission, Greenfield Recreation Department and others have worked with downtown officer Jason Haskins to eliminate that type of activity, and according to police, have to an extent.

Since that time, the neighbors of the park have also met on several occasions to brainstorm about troublesome neighborhood issues and to create collaborative solutions, such as the trainings, said Iris Vicencio-Rasku of the Hillside Gardens Neighborhood Watch.

Attend a training session

Trainings will be held Tuesday and May 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., in the Greenfield Gardens Community Building meeting room at 58 Pray Drive. They are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact: precinct8@gmail.com or visit Hillside Neighborhood Watch Greenfield on Facebook.

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