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Air Force Veteran To Start Union City Neighborhood Watch Program
By Chris Lash
There are lots of former Union City residents, who after they retire from their careers, want to move back home. The same goes for 12 year Air Force veteran Sean Coggin. After being away for 22 years, Coggin returned to Union City, two and a half years ago, as a respected member of the Air Force Security Forces, a Gulf War hero during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a former military training instructor for Air Force basic training. Now in security at Presque Isle Downs and Casino, his goal is to return to police work. His neighborhood watch idea hatched from his love of our community, and of his desire to see it safer.
Coggin says the neighborhood watch idea came about after he and several others noticed or reported suspicious activity involving individuals sitting in cars for hours, surveying houses, or strange people standing on porches, and peering through windows. “I see the neighborhood watch programing working in Union City, to combat criminals from petty break-ins, robbery, vandalism and even drug issues.” said Coggin. He feels that a combination of the Union City Police Department, and the community coming together can go along way with assiting any crime issues in town. “We need help from citizens, community leaders, teachers….anyone.” added Coggin. He’s also confident that teenagers are a huge part of the community, and can report crimes, just as adults can.
Union City Mayor Natalie likes the idea and said “WE are the only people who can improve our community. There is no magic entity that is going to swoop in and fix everything. Unless the community bands together and works for the good of our town, our efforts will not succeed. It’s One Team, One Fight.” Recent contact between Coggins and Union City Police Chief Pernice, also has the police department on board to help develop the watch program, as well as Erie County Sheriff Loomis. Chief Pernice, and others in the community are contacting others that have experience in putting together such programs, and has offered to connect Union City to other resources as well.
While in the idea stage, Coggin reached out to the community on social media, using the Union City Facebook pages, as a way to gauge interest. So far over thirty people have downloaded a special app. The free Join Neighbors app is available on your phone through your favorite playstore. It allows members who sign up to stay up to date with crime and safety alerts in your neighborhood, and will allow future neighborhood watch members to communicate with each other.
Coggin welcomes you to reach out to him on Facebook, with your comments, ideas or concerns, and to join the Neighborhood Watch page on the Union City Facebook page.