Eleven Continental Park neighbors have formed a security patrol to help protect the area from a recent rash of home burglaries and car thefts. “That’s really the reason why we decided to organize this effort,” said attorney Elliott Zack, member and former chair of the East Kendall Community Council.
“I happened to see what the folks in Eastern Shores (North Miami Beach) did to help police with surveillance, and we decided we could do the same thing here.”
Despite increased Miami-Dade Police patrols in the Kendall and Hammocks districts, home burglaries and car thefts have continued to plague residents of Continental Park and areas north of the Falls in East Kendall.
During a recent Crime Watch meeting at the Dice House, Zack and several neighbors decided to volunteer their time for neighborhood patrolling as one way to help spot suspicious activities or individuals, and notify police.
“We have been directed by police and Citizens Crime Watch to call the police if we see anything unusual,” explained Holly White who also serves as president of the Continental Park Homeowners Association, adding “We’re not part of either of those organizations.”
To identify themselves each group member purchased bright yellow magnetic- attached signs labeled: “Continental Park Security,” affixed to private vehicles during their patrols.
Robert Csanalosi affixed his sign on the front hood of his blue “Viper”-powered three-wheeler for duty tours. Each member volunteers two hours each month for the patrols.
Both Zack and White said their informal surveillance should not be misunderstood as a “vigilante” move to take law enforcement into their own hands.
They noted the recent killing of Trayvon Martin, 17, by George Zimmerman, a selfappointed security watcher in a Sanford community, giving rise to racial issues and a massive media focus on citizens assuming policing duties.
“We do not endanger ourselves or anyone else. We are not armed in any way, except with our cell phones,” White emphasized.
“Just last week, we had acts of vandalism at Continental Park when dirt was taken from the baseball field to smear around the clubhouse. Some cars also got egged. We want to help prevent this kind of mischief-making, too.”