Cemetery Watchers needed



I'll admit that when I read the words "Cemetery Watch" in a morning e-mail, I immediately flashed to scenes in zombie movies of corpses crawling out of their graves.

Watch out.

Boy, was I off. Turns out the e-mail was about a "Cemetery Watch program" starting up in Colorado Springs. Modeled after Neighborhood Watch programs, the new program asks neighbors to keep an eye on nearby cemeteries and call police about suspicious activity.

It's a sad reality that some people are actually so low that they will rob and vandalize graves. But it happens. And watchful neighbors tend to prevent crimes that show disrespect to the dead and hurt survivors.

If you want to participate — and maybe even help catch some low-life kicking over a grandma's gravestone — the information is below:

Cemetery Watch program to begin at City Cemeteries

A new Cemetery Watch program will begin at Evergreen and Fairview Cemeteries. A kickoff event will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 27 at the Evergreen Chapel (1005 S. Hancock Ave.). Members of the Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society, the Colorado Springs Police Department and Evergreen and Fairview cemeteries staff will be on hand to introduce the new Cemetery Watch program and answer questions. Additionally, a presentation called “Funeraria, the Business and Theft of Cemetery Relics and Monuments” will be shown.
The Cemetery Watch will be set up much like a traditional Neighborhood Watch program, with the exception that the cemetery residents can’t report crime and suspicious activities themselves. Visitors will be asked to be more vigilant. Contact numbers will be published and presentations involving issues in cemeteries will be provided for the public.
The watch program asks citizens with friends and families buried in the cemeteries to become involved and look out for instances when flowers, vases, ornaments, pictures or headstones are stolen or vandalized. Those who witness a crime or suspicious activity should call the police at 444-7000 and then contact cemetery staff at 578-6646.
The event will also offer the opportunity to learn about the “Adopt a Block” program run by the Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society. This event is free to the public and refreshments will be served.
For questions, please contact Ingrid McDonald at 719-444-3168.

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