FoM makes news with whistle campaign

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Friends of Midtown, the neighborhood group of which I am also a board member, made news this week with its whistle campaign.

Check out the story from ABC27 after the jump.

Safety Whistles Make Way Through Midtown

posted 3:56 pm Tue June 24, 2008 – Harrisburg, Pa.
reporter: Amy Kehm
posted by: Bryan Peach

In response to recent violence in Harrisburg’s Midtown section, leaders are arming residents with a crime prevention tool – small blue emergency whistles are making their way through Midtown.

The whistles attach to keychains. Local organization “Friends of Midtown” is distributing them through the area’s six neighborhood watch groups.

“We want to get these widely distributed throughout the community because the more whistles, the better the effect works,” said Chuck Hamilton, Friends of Midtown’s Safety Committee Chairman.

The idea is that a whistle can scare perpetrators away and get the attention of neighbors.

“It’s very proactive. It’s very safe,” said Hamilton. “It’s been used effectively in a variety or urban settings over the years.”

Wanda Pritulski has lived in Midtown for 20 years. She agrees that the whistles are a good idea.

“If you see trouble or you are in trouble, you can draw attention to yourself,” Pritulski said. “The more people are aware of what’s going on, the better off you’re going to be.”

Midtown resident Mike Vanjura is not so sure that whistles are the solution.

“The mayor thinks that carrying whistles is going to be the end-all, be-all to prevent muggings from happening,” he said.

Friends of Midtown said the whistles are a way to stand up for their community.

“We’re watching. And we’re bonding,” Hamilton said. “And we have numerous groups and we’re active and we’re being proactive in initiating these campaigns.”

If you live in Midtown and would like a whistle, contact your neighborhood watch group. If you do not know which group is yours, Friends of Midtown can direct you to the right people.

For more information, please log on to www.friendsofmidtown.org.

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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