Davenport city officials, police introduce Good Neighbor Project initiative to keep communities safe

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- City officials and Davenport police are incorporating a new crime prevention strategy called the Good Neighbor Project.

It's the second of its kind in the country, inspired by the Madison Police Department.

"It's more about learning about your neighborhood and meeting people and being close," Police Chief Paul Sikorski says.

The program is different than a typical neighborhood watch group. The program encourages neighbors to discuss concerns about their community, but also plan activities and get to know each other.

People creating their own Good Neighbor Project can make it as simple or formal as they'd like, whether it's a couple neighbors in a group text or a neighborhood that holds regular meetings.

Sikorski says police officers will be available to come to meetings and activities within these Good Neighbor Projects.

Sheri Weipert lives in Davenport's Van Buren Park neighborhood, and while it's normally quiet, crime does strike. She's had her garage broken into, and her car window smashed.

That's why she's looking forward to this initiative, to continue to get to know her neighbors better.

"If I have to go away on vacation, I'll call (my neighbor), she’ll keep an eye on my house," Weipert says. "I have her feed my cats when I'm gone, and when I keep my garage open, she knows about my motorcycle, she calls me. She says 'Sheri your garage is open' and knows I don’t (normally) leave it open."

The program doesn't just have to be about crime -- people can ask police officers, firefighters, parks and recreation department employees and more to come by their neighborhood meetings.

The first meeting to get started on a Good Neighbor Project is March 10th, 2020 at Davenport Police Department.

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