The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 10, 2013

Moxham Crime Watch changing identity

Dave Sutor

JOHNSTOWN — What was once the Moxham Crime Watch is now called the Moxham Neighborhood Watch.

And with the name change comes a revamped mission.

Previously, the organization patrolled the Johnstown community, looking for illegal activity.

People often expressed concerns about taking on such an overt crime-fighting role and found it difficult to set aside hours to participate in street canvasses.

Therefore, membership dropped.

The group, in its new identity, will still work to reduce crime in Moxham, but it will also celebrate positive developments, provide ways to exchange information through Facebook and promote church and business activities.

“We’re not just watching out for crime; we’re watching out for each other,” said the organization’s treasurer, Theresa Subich.

The neighborhood watch will hold an informational meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday inside the Russell House at 538 Park Ave.

“There are more good people than there are bad people in Moxham,” said watch President Dan Schofield. “Getting these people to come out and make a contribution to their neighborhood can make a huge difference.”

Watch participants decided to revive and transform the organization in response to multiple shootings that have recently occurred in Moxham.

Members will no longer be asked to visibly walk beats at night as they were in the past. Instead, individuals will be taught how to simply stay vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the proper authorities, including the Johnstown Police Department.

“The cops are doing a good job,” said Subich. “They just need more eyes and ears out there.”

A Facebook page is expected to be in place soon. Organizers will use it to provide crime-fighting tips and links to activities in the neighborhood.

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