L.J. Castro, the newly installed chairman of the 14th Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council, said that one of the concerns he wants to address during his two-year term is how to improve the Neighborhood Watch program.
The program unites community members within a village in protecting their homes, families, and neighbors by being the “eyes” of the village and looking out for potential criminal activities.
Castro, who is also a press officer at the Office of the Governor, said he knows first hand the importance of a Neighborhood Watch program, having been a victim of a burglary last November.
“The Neighborhood Watch…can definitely make matters a little bit easier in the community,” he said after being sworn in Monday at the Kiosku Roundhouse in Chalan Kanoa.
Robbers stole $2,000 worth of items during the Nov. 28 burglary at Castro’s house in Finasisu.
Weeks before his inauguration, Castro said he and fellow councilman Diego Kaipat already discussed ways to improve the program.
“We have talked about it and looked at ways to make it stronger. It was enacted a few years ago and it had a lot of promise. Even though we have a very able police force that does its best to address crime and public safety in the villages, there’s still a lot more that can be done and the municipal council hopes to make it a stronger program,” he said.
Castro and Kaipat would also fulfill some of the plans that were left unfinished by the previous municipal council.
“One of the things that come about when a new term usually starts is old business doesn’t die when the last term passes on. There’s a handful of issues the 13th municipal council wanted us to look at and try to touch bases. Councilman Kaipat and I are definitely looking at those particular issues. Of course, we have events lined up and one event in July that we’re hoping to stage is the conference in Pagan,” he said.
The “Konferencian Dinana Islas Marianas” was originally set last year; it was postponed because delegates from Guam were busy with preparations for the Festival of Pacific Arts and the Guam’s Liberation festivities. It would have gathered delegates from all the islands of the Marianas archipelago for a forum in Pagan.