HISTORY OF THE ALL-GROVE CRIME WATCH

 

Robert LoupoThe All-Grove Crime Watch was organized in February 2001 at the urging of Will Johnson, Village West leader and President of the Village West Homeowners and Tenants Association(HOATA)

Center Grove activists Trina Collins, and Robert Loupo were organizing a "Center Grove Crime Watch" and met with leaders of the Village West to collaborate their crime fighting efforts with those of the Village West HOATA anti-crime activists.

Will suggested that instead of having individual "Crime Watch" organizations working separately in each residential area of the Grove, there should be an over-arching "All-Grove Crime Watch" for, as Will stated, "what happens in one area of Coconut Grove affects every other area."

Thus the concept of the All-Grove Crime Watch was born. A Steering Committee was formed and Robert Loupo and the late Yvonne McDonald were elected Co-Chairs. Since February 2001, the All-Grove Crime watch has held monthly meetings, bringing the residents, City of Miami Police , and officials together. Meetings were originally held at Virrick Park, and later at St Stephens Episcopal Church. An e-mail data base was created from meeting attendance, and crime updates and community meeting notices were e-mailed and disseminated throughout the community. A web site was created (www.grovecrimewatch.org) to inform citizens on best contact numbers to report crime, local Neighborhood Resource Officer phone numbers, and how best to deal with and prevent crime. Residential block parties have been held in the Center Grove, North Grove, Village West and South Grove to bring neighbors together, and introduce them to local police and Neighborhood Resource officers, as well as representatives from the State Attorney's office.

Two All-Grove Crime Forums have been held at City Hall, bringing county and circuit judges, the Police Chief, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, and other Grove and City of Miami leaders to discuss how best to intervene and prevent crime from occurring in the Grove. The All-Grove Crime Watch has been featured on Channel 10 as an example of a successful citizen crime fighting organization.