MAY 1, 2019
~ Neal Witkin
Name and Purpose of the Committee
The Barefoot Neighborhood Watch Program was established in 2009 following the Highway 31 Wildfire that caused 2500 residents to be evacuated in the middle of the night. More than 100 homes were damaged in Barefoot alone, of which 69 homes were completely destroyed.
Barefoot Neighborhood Watch is a program which –
- Creates a body of concerned, involved neighbors.
- Encourages neighbors to get to know each other and their routines and to recognize any out of place activities.
- Emphasizes the importance of being aware of suspicious activities and sounds, evaluating them and knowing how to properly communicate this information to the authorities and within Barefoot if appropriate.
- Teaches techniques to reduce the risk of being victimized.
- Advises how to make homes more secure, to accurately identify property, and how to look out for each other.
- Fosters a partnership with the North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety.
- Achieves results by working at the neighborhood level.
- Uses block captains and telephone chain contact lists to disseminate information.
- Promotes “Neighbors helping Neighbors” through the exchange of information related to neighborhood and individual household safety issues.
- Educates residents about security and safety.
- Encourages residents to stay informed by using reliable resources such as Everbridge (North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Alerts).
Summary of 2018-2019 Accomplishments
Notices were distributed to each resident in the single-family units and to some in the multi-family units advising property owners of their respective block captains in the Neighborhood Watch program along with a contact phone number.
Long-time Community Coordinator Don Bernard in Bridle Ridge ended his volunteer position on the NWC. The Community Coordinator position remains open in Bridle Ridge.
Tom Zales resigned his position of Community Coordinator in Somerset and was later replaced by volunteer Kerry Vella.
Community Coordinator vacancies still exist in Longbridge I and Bridle Ridge.
In September 2018, the Committee began open meetings for all Barefoot Residents
For all of 2018, the committee had no Assistant Chair for the Multi-Family units and sadly, Bob Steinmetz passed away during the year, leaving the Single-Family Assistant Chair position open.
Throughout 2018 and to date as of May 2019, there have been no Barefoot Public Safety Reports. The good news is the continued low crime rate in Barefoot.
Following the annual election of board members in 2018, Tony Safarra was replaced by Greg Snow as the committee’s liaison member from the Board of Directors. Welcome Greg.
The Committee developed topics for its open meetings for 2019 as follows:
January – Refuse to Be A Victim
February – Basic Home Security
March – Travel Security
April – Alarms
May – How To Be A Good Witness
June – The 9-1-1 Process
July – Refuse To Be A Victim
August – Guest Speakers: NMB Councilwoman, Nikki Fontana and State Senator, Greg Humbree
September – Traffic Control – Barefoot Security
October – Fire Prevention
November – C. P. E. D. (Crime Prevention thru Environmental Design)
December – Holiday Safety
Officer McLeod was promoted to Sergeant and was assigned patrol and supervisory duties in Public Safety. Officer Amy Vicks had been working with officer McLeod in the same department for many years and has now become the Barefoot Neighborhood Watch liaison.
Early in 2019, two volunteers were added to the committee: Robert (Bob) Moyse, Assistant Chair, Multi-Family Units and Charlie Forman, Assistant Chair, Single Family Residences.
New security cameras were purchased and installed at each Barefoot entrance/exit to upgrade the cameras’ technical abilities with night vision and motion detection and easier access to recorded photos by Ponderosa and Police.
The Committee began inviting all the Community Coordinators at each quarterly Committee meeting in 2019.
The Committee planned and developed a Home Security Trade Show with local vendors. The Show was held April 4th at the Barefoot Golf Clubhouse and consisted of 7 vendors and the NMB Department of Public Safety. The Show was open to anyone in the Myrtle Beach area interested in upgrading their home security. The event was free and drew over 100 interested property owners. All the vendors praised the event as a success and vowed to participate in future shows.