Columbia to Approve Money for Neighborhood Watch Program

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is expected to approve $6,000 at its meeting on Monday for the Columbia Neighborhood Watch program.

The funding agreement runs through 2018. After the initial $6,000 this year, the program will receive $5,000 a year.

Columbia Neighborhood Watch has been attempting to secure city money since being cut from the police budget in 2009. The program has been relying exclusively on donations since the cut.

Neighborhood Watch President Greg Reed said the money will be used for a variety of things including improving and promoting training sessions, adding new signs and replacing existing signs. He said the ability to advertise and promote training sessions will be most beneficial to the program.

"We'll be able to attract more people to our training sessions and that means we can increase neighborhood watch membership," Reed said.

Reed said he hopes the increase in membership and improvement in training sessions will improve the neighborhood watch program and help reduce crime.