Crime Prevention Coordinator Theodore James “TJ” Guidotti says that the crime rate in Galt is 56 percent lower today than in recent years. Furthermore, the area surrounding Meadowview Park in southwest Galt — once known for its violence, drugs and gang activity — is one of the safest areas of Galt, Guidotti said.
“This neighborhood was garbage,” said Noni Garcia, a 17-year southwest Galt resident and a Galt Neighborhood Watch leader. But things have changed.
“That’s why we came here — it’s safe here,” said Realtor Martha Fornes. “I can’t sell real estate if it’s not a safe place to be.”
One of the primary reasons Galt residents say they feel comfortable in the community is the continued growth of Neighborhood Watch.
Galt will join active Neighborhood Watch residents in Lodi, Woodbridge, Thornton and other communities during the organization’s annual National Night Out. In addition to being the eyes and ears of the neighborhood, Neighborhood Watch encourages people to leave their houses and meet their neighbors, according to Stan Toscano, one of the program’s leaders.
National Night Out, held throughout the country on the second Tuesday of August each year, will range from block parties in some communities to get-togethers in community parks. Galt will have three such celebrations:
• Meadowview Park, along Kost Road between Meadowview and Creekside Way. Galt police, firefighters and Neighborhood Watch leaders will be there from 6 to 6:40 p.m. Members of New Hope Assembly of God will help organize the event.
• SMUD Park, west of Lincoln Way between A and C streets. The party will be held in conjunction with the weekly Farmers Market held each Tuesday evening on Lincoln Way. Police officers, firefighters and Neighborhood Watch leaders will be there from 6:45 to 7:25 p.m. Family Live Christian Church will help put on the party.
• Galt Community Park, Walnut Avenue east of Carillion Boulevard from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. Horizon Community Church volunteers will help Neighborhood Watch leaders and public safety officers..
Each party will feature free hot dogs and other food, bounce houses, a martial arts demonstration, live music and the McGruff and Scruff crime dogs.
For more information, call Guidotti at 209-366-7000.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at email@example.com.