HARRODSBURG — A retired Mercer County hospital administrator, the sheriff’s department, and Mercer Central Fire Station joined forces Tuesday to share emergency preparedness information and the potential benefits of neighborhood watch programs with the community.
The presentation was part of Neighborhood Watch Month in Mercer. Part of Tuesday’s program was designed to educate community members about what to do if they are ever in a situation such as the movie theater shooting that recently occurred in Aurora, Colo.
“You are the first responder (in any emergency situation),” said Dr. Earl J. Motzer, co-chairman of Mercer County Crime Stoppers and retired chief executive officer of James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital. Motzer serves on several boards directly associated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Motzer and Mercer Chief Deputy Sheriff Scott Elder showed a six-minute video funded through the Department of Homeland Security.
The video explained how people faced with an active shooting situation can increase their chances of survival by running, hiding or fighting.
Motzer also encouraged the handful of residents present to consider starting a watch in their home neighborhoods. However, even those who are not able to take on the commitment of starting and running such a program can help their community by fine-tuning their observational skills.
“Public safety is a partnership between law enforcement and citizens,” Motzer said. “Law enforcement can’t do it alone.”
Residents should not hesitate to call police when they see someone suspicious in their community or notice something that just does not seem right, Elder said.
“It’s all about keeping ourselves safe these days, and our families and our neighbors,” Elder said.
With burglaries of vehicles, homes and offices on the rise in Mercer due to the escalating problem with drug addiction, everyone should keep track of the serial numbers on their valuables, Elder said.
“Owner-applied” numbers in a hidden area of a computer or television also can help police track down burglars and reclaim stolen property from pawn shops. Owner-applied numbers are those engraved by the owner or a trusted representative. Many criminals are scratching off serial numbers so they can more easily pawn items without being arrested, Elder said.
SO YOU KNOW
The remaining neighborhood watch seminars will be held as follows:
7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, Dixville Fire Department, 2470 New Dixville Road.
7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, McAfee Fire Department, 2805 Louisville Road.
7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, Lion’s Park Community Center, 450 E. Factory St., Harrodsburg. Led by Harrodsburg Fire Chief Christopher Dean.
7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, Shakertown Fire Department, 3318 Shakertown Road.
7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, Burgin Fire Department, 115 Maple St.
7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, Terrapin Fire Department, 2750 Talmage Mayo Road.
Anyone from any community can attend, and advance reservations are not required, said Mercer Sheriff Ernie Kelty.