By James Pan
As I assume the role of chair of the Neighborhood Watch Committee, I want to thank Chuck Foster for his diligent work on our behalf over the last four years. If you see Chuck, please express your appreciation.
I also would like to share a few of my thoughts, beginning with the benefits of dog walking (and joys, too).
Why is walking a dog great for both Neighborhood Watch and your health?
When you have a dog as a family member in Lakeport, it helps the cluster. Usually, you need to walk the dog three or four times a day. You get to see your neighbors, catch up on informal cluster news, and become part of the rhythm of our community. So when something is off, you are more likely to spot it. And this is what Neighborhood Watch is all about.
As for benefits to you, if you walk a dog three or four times a day, that is equivalent to walking one to one-and-a-half miles a day, over 450 miles per year, or more than 5,500 miles over the average lifespan of a dog. That is like walking your dog to Los Angeles and back, which has to be good for both you and the dog (and a lot safer than trekking across the country!).
Then there is the enhanced emotional health that results from the companionship a dog provides. After the last year, we can use all the love and friendship we can get.
So having a dog is a win/win/win situation: Good for the neighborhood, good for you, and great for Fido.
Also, always carry a cell phone while dog-walking or simply walking in the neighborhood. There are two benefits: (1) you can quickly summon the police in case of an emergency, and (2) you can take photos or video if warranted.
It is important to remember, though, that if you observe a suspicious event, person, or vehicle, DO NOT INTERVENE. Call the Fairfax County Police Department’s non-emergency number (703-691-2131) to report what you observe (it’s a good idea to add the number to your phone’s Favorites). And don't be timid about calling the police. The police are routinely dispatched to calls involving suspicious activity or persons, and your call may result in a critical piece of information for, or even resolution of, an ongoing investigation.
We are aware of the armed robbery at our Subway in late February. Luckily, the store specializes in hero sandwiches and nobody was injured. Finally, we are working with the South Lakes Center management company to ensure that the new plaza lights work at night.