The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 15, 2013

Moxham fighting back | Groups map plans to battle violent crime

The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN — A Johnstown neighborhood organization has a new name and a revamped mission, but its ultimate goal remains one we continue to applaud: A safer and more attractive Moxham.

Hopefully, the face-lift will bring renewed life, a boost in membership and better results for Moxham Neighborhood Watch, formerly a crime-watch group.

“We’re not just watching out for crime; we’re watching out for each other,” Theresa Subich, treasurer, told our Dave Sutor.

As reported by Sutor, watch participants are building a new effort in the wake of multiple shootings and other recent violent crime activity in Moxham.

Depending on whom you talk to in the community, you get the idea these are equally sensitive and scary times. Some folks will tell you matter-of-factly that Moxham remains safe and with a great family atmosphere, while others talk of increasing blight and crime, including illegal drug activity.

Similar to what we reported recently involving the county sheriff’s office using Facebook to fight crime, so plans the neighborhood watch group. Organizers will use it to provide crime-fighting tips and links to activities in the neighborhood.

While members will no longer be asked to walk beats at night, they will be asked to help promote entertainment, church and business activities – a new twist for such a group.

Ironically, Moxham Renaissance group, which has dealt mostly with cultural enhancement and historic preservation, is now looking to become more involved in crime fighting, including installing surveillance cameras.

Both groups are deserving of residents’ support through volunteer hours or financial contributions, or both.

And as the city of Johnstown’s recently formed Drug and Crime Commission also focuses on the neighborhood, it gives one optimism that better days are ahead for Moxham.

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