Neighbors on the look-out

Woodland Park Police Officer Brian Martinez is heading up a neighborhood security watch program in Forest Edge/Country Ridge Estates.
Pat Hill
Posted

As Woodland Park grows and the number of subdivisions increases, creeping crime comes along with the economic infusion provided by new residents.

Out in front of the trend are the residents of Forest Edge/Country Ridge Estates who have initiated the Neighborhood Security Network.

“The Forest Edge neighborhood is probably a higher-crime area for us in Woodland Park,” said Officer Brian Martinez. “We’re had multiple burglaries, thefts and drugs in that area.”

Martinez initiated the security group through a social-media contact, nextdoor.com. “It’s a quiet town but it’s slowly getting larger,” he said. “We’re trying to form the group to prevent future problems in our neighborhoods.”

Forest Edge has a split personality. “We have our trouble spots there and then a block away it’s a real nice neighborhood,” Martinez said.

Beginning with Forest Edge neighbors, Martinez hopes to get the ball rolling for other subdivisions to begin a security program. “It’s not for us to take charge, it’s for us to work together with the community, for the true meaning of community policing,” Martinez said.

The program is not intended to signal a crime wave in the city. “There is not a lot of crime in Woodland Park but we’re trying to keep it that way,” Martinez said. “But we are seeing more drugs, thefts and burglaries, most of them coming out of Colorado Springs and up to our community.”

Cord Prettyman is among the neighbors in on the initial push for a security program.

“As a resident of Country Ridge Estates, I’m very grateful for the time and effort that Officers Brian Martinez and Andrew Leibbrand are putting into establishing a watch program for the Forest Edge/Country Ridge Estates community,” he said. “At a recent organizational meeting at the Woodland Park Police Department, several neighborhood residents reported home break-in attempts and suspicious activity in our area, so there’s obviously a need for such a program.”

For information about the program, call Martinez at the police department at 687-9262 or email to bmartinez@city-woodlandpark.org.