They vow to observe and report. The Naperville Community Radio Watch, or CRW, has been helping keep residents safe since its inception in 1982.
“The whole idea is to prevent crime or identify suspicious activity before it becomes a criminal act,” said Mark Ksiazek, Patrol Sergeant with the Naperville Police Department.
Acting as additional eyes and ears for the police department, the group is comprised entirely of volunteers.
“The community members that are part of this group, they either work or live in Naperville and I think they have a similar interest in making this community a better place, a safer place, for their own families and their future families,” said Steve Rothmund, Executive Board Member of the CRW.
To accomplish that, CRW members conduct several driving patrols each month.
Sergeant Ksiazek explains, “They drive around in their own vehicles in specific areas of the city trying to identify criminal activity, or suspicious activity, or suspicious vehicles. And then they report that to the police department and we can investigate it.”
Members also conduct safety surveys, looking for things like texting and driving, speeding or seatbelt usage. That data is then used by the police to determine if further action needs to be taken.
“You live in this community, we all live in this community, we want to make it safe. We’re keeping our neighborhood safe, we’re doing a public service, we’re saving the taxpayers money,” said Elaine Newburn, Active Director of the CRW.
That’s because the CRW is completely self-funded.
“The city doesn’t pay us, the police don’t pay us, we’re totally volunteers. So in order for us to get the supplies we need, our uniforms things like that, we do overnight security for different events,” said Newburn.
In return, event organizers give the group a donation.
With training from the police, and a passion for their community, members of the CRW hope to keep Naperville safe for many years to come.
“Its just so heartwarming knowing you can help make everybody safe and that’s our goal,” said Laura Frohn, member of the CRW.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
Get daily hometown news and sports delivered to your inbox!Sign Up Today!