OUR VIEW: In Snellville, the neighborhood watch is a SNAP

This week we give a thumbs up to Tricia Rawlins. The Snellville resident turned something bad — a break-in at her home — into something good, a neighborhood watch program that utilizes a private Facebook page for Snellville residents to keep in touch about what’s going on in their neighborhoods.

Rawlins is the founder of the Snellville Neighborhood Alert Program, referred to as SNAP. She began working on SNAP about 18 months ago, and it has grown from a group concentrating on her own neighborhood to one covering the entire city of Snellville. According to Rawlins, there are about 100 members of the SNAP group, and through the private Facebook page they can share tips, issue alerts and communicate directly with Snellville police.

So far, 43 neighborhoods in Snellville are represented and Rawlins’ goal is to grow the membership to 500. It is her goal to aid the Snellville Police Department, which she terms “super.”

“We can increase the size of our police department by becoming the eyes and ears,” Rawlins said.

Snellville police say the group can help spot trends and that the interaction is good for the department.

“They might inquire about the stuff they see from (online tracking sites), but they also have the ability to say, ‘Hey, we have a white van driving around,’” Capt. Greg Perry said.

It’s good for residents to be involved in their communities and Rawlins deserves kudos for establishing the program. It’s a great example of making something good out of a bad situation.

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