Bury neighbourhood watch meeting draws a crowd, but not much interest

By Gordon Lambie

According to Bury Mayor Walter Dougherty, although last week’s public information meeting on the establishment of a neighbourhood watch program drew more than 20 people, only a small few of those actually expressed any interest in participating.
“When it came time to sign up, only three people put their names down,” the Mayor said, sharing that although he doesn’t believe that three is enough people to form a functional committee, the municipality isn’t closing the door on the idea.
“We will put out notices to see of there are more people interested,” he said, describing the municipality as being in a supporting role in the process. Although last week’s information meeting was convened by the municipality, Dougherty described the conversation around the creating of a neighbourhood watch program a citizen initiative.
“It’s not the town that’s going to run it,” he said.
The Mayor speculated that part of the inspiration behind the idea of a neighbourhood watch program is uncertainty among some residents about the fires that have taken place in the community over the summer. Although he did not dismiss those concerns, Dougherty underlined his faith in the work being done by the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) to investigate as well as the common sense and tendency of small-town communities to look out for one another without need for an official program.
“If you see something suspicious, you call the police,” he said, noting that a representative of the SQ was on hand at the meeting to help clarify what role a neighborhood watch could provide in the community and what its responsibilities might be.
Asked about the contrast between the near-capacity turnout for the meeting and the low number of people who signed up, Dougherty said that there were a number of seniors in attendance who may be interested in the issue but not necessarily feel up to being a part of the watch program directly.
The Mayor did not have much to say on ongoing investigation into the fires in the community except to say that he feels the police are on top of the matter.

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