Block Club Program FAQs
Q: Who do I contact for more information on Lakewood’s Neighborhood Block Club Program?
A: You may contact the Mayor’s Office at 216-529-6600 to obtain block club information or to start a block club. You may also find Block Club information on the city website at: http://www.onelakewood.com/accordions/block-clubs-2/
Q: What if I cannot have a meeting in my home – what are my options?
A: If you cannot hold your neighborhood Block Club meeting in your home, you have several options. You can contact the Crime Prevention Office to check on the availability of the training room at the Lakewood police station; you can call the Lakewood Recreation/Adult Education Department to check on the availability of a room in one of the city schools for your meeting; you can inquire at your church as to use of a meeting room there; or you could contact the Lakewood Public Library to check on the availability of one of their meeting rooms. These are just a few ideas, if you need additional assistance, contact the Block Club information office at 216-529-6600.
Q: My neighbors are hesitant about reporting crimes, suspicious acts or other things (housing code violations, garbage, etc.), what can I tell them?
A: Block Clubs succeed, first and foremost, when neighbors are alert, ready and willing to report incidents to the police. Everyone in your neighborhood should have on hand both the emergency numbers for police and fire as well as the non-emergency numbers for those departments. Although they will be asked for their name and address when making a report, their name and other personal information will be kept confidential. If a copy of a written report is requested, all personal information about the person reporting is “redacted” or blacked out, so that it is not made public.
Residents are strongly encouraged to report incidents, even if they are unsure about the level of seriousness. Even if no significant police action results from a particular call, if the problem is ongoing, every call creates a stronger paper trail and can ultimately aid the police and other city departments in addressing the problem.
Q: What other city representatives could I get involved in my street’s block club efforts and meeting?
A: You can contact your council person and your ward police officer to invite him/her to your meeting. If your problem relates to rundown housing or unkempt property, you may also want to invite a representative of the building department or the housing court to answer questions regarding code violations and enforcement.
Q: How can I find out about crime occurring in my neighborhood?
A: A weekly report is issued by the Police Department on Tuesdays. It is public record. Any resident can call and request a copy of the report for their street or neighborhood and pick it up from the Police Department when it’s ready.
Q: Other than Block Club, does Lakewood offer any other training for residents in crime prevention that I can become involved in?
A: There are no other training courses available at this time for residents in crime prevention or community policing. However, residents involved in Block Club may want to become involved in the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Program, which trains residents on how to prepare for and respond to city-wide disasters and be able to help themselves, their families and their neighbors in the event of a large emergency situation, such as that caused by tornadoes, severe winter weather, accidents, fires, etc. Please contact Westshore CERT Coordinator Dennis Kucler at 440-716-4135 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about CERT.
Q: I have seen Block Club street signs in other communities. Are those types of signs available to residents of Lakewood?
A: Lakewood will provide signs for streets with Block Club groups that meet certain criteria. Please call the Mayor’s office at 216-529-6600 and ask the Block Club liaison for more information.
Q: Does the city keep a record of streets with operating Block Club groups?
A: Yes. Check out the map on the city’s website to see the latest list of streets that have registered Block Clubs. http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=de659475576942c7a5b9e456979c088f
Q: Can I incur any legal liability by heading up or participating in a Block Group?
A: No. Block Club participants should only be calling the police to report crimes or suspicious activities, but not taking any other action beyond observing and reporting. As long as you act within the rules of block club and do not try to physically intervene in an incident or apprehend someone, you will not incur any legal liability.
Q: There are some small businesses in my neighborhood. Can they be part of our Block Club group?
A: Absolutely yes! Business owners are encouraged to get involved in Block Club and Lakewood is a city that is well suited to “mixed” groups that include residents as well as businesses. A group can also include a church or other places of worship in the neighborhood. A successful Block Club should include as many members of a neighborhood as possible.