Junior Crime Watch Program Created in Duryea

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DURYEA -- Duryea Police are creating a junior crime watch program meant for teens. It all started a year and a half ago, when Police Chief Nick Lohman noticed the number of crimes committed by teenagers was on the rise.

"When there's a lot of crime involving kids, they kind of talk amongst each other," he explained. "They brag about it on social media and things we don't have access to."

So with the new year underway, the chief said the time is now to get a program like this started.

Here's how it will work: teens aged 12 to 18 in Duryea would take part in the regular adult crime watch meetings and hopefully build a relationship with officers, whether it's keeping police up to date or learning the best practices to stay out of trouble.

"Get the youth acquainted with the police department and work with getting some of the youth crimes straightened out in the town," said Keith Moss, Duryea mayor.

People in the area say adding teenagers to the crime watch program adds a whole new perspective.

"The young perspective can help the old perspective and come in with new thoughts, new ideas, and a new way of looking at things," said Leonard Ameika of Duryea.

"The youth is far more advanced than some of us are in this department because they are seeing the changes going on in life quicker than we are," added Lohman.

And parents and school leaders in the area agree the program could have a lot of upside for young and impressionable teenagers.

"I think that's wonderful for the youth to get involved," said Camille Talarico. "They'll know right from wrong and perfect for the kids to stay out of trouble."

"It's very important to get the kids involved early and get them comfortable to go to police officers," said Candace Lee, principal of Holy Rosary School in Duryea.

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