Mesa neighbors focus on safety - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Mesa neighbors focus on safety

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Posted: Sunday, October 9, 2005 8:29 am | Updated: 7:56 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

There was no snow at Margie Frost’s block party this year, but no one really seemed to mind.

Between the visits from Mesa police officers, firefighters, the K-9 unit and bomb robot, kids dipped caramel apples and went on a hayride through the west Mesa Colony on the Green neighborhood.

Friends old and new ate hot dogs and bratwurst from the grill, along with an array of cakes, brownies and cookies.

Block watch captain Frost hosts a gathering every year — usually with snow, but it was too expensive this year. The block party was just one of 85 Saturday in Mesa to promote community safety during Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods night.

"It brings neighbors together, puts a face to the name," said Mesa assistant police chief Les Portee, who signed an autograph for a little girl wearing a junior police officer badge sticker.

The idea is that the better you know your neighbors, the safer your community is.

"We watch each other’s homes," said Afton Zapata, a block watch captain in the Sierra Heights neighborhood, which was built five years ago in northeast Mesa. "We’ve had quite a few break-ins over the past few years."

Debbie Steffen, one of the block watch captains in the Colony neighborhood, said she wishes more residents would get involved.

Mesa has nearly 600 neighborhood watch groups, with 1,058 residents serving as neighborhood watch captains, co-captains or assistants.

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