Police fear Lakewood Orthodox group is more vigilante than vigilant

(07/12/06) LAKEWOOD ? The Orthodox community in Lakewood has formed a neighborhood watch organization, but police have concerns the members are doing more than just watching.

The neighborhood watch was created after the abduction and rape of an Orthodox woman outside of a Lakewood gym in May. Several muggings in the area also prompted the creators to take action and form Lakewood Shomrim. However, the language used on Lakewood Shomrim?s voicemail has surprised police in the area. The message states, ?You?ve reached Lakewood Shomrim, please hold for the dispatcher.?

Police officials in Lakewood, who didn?t know Lakewood Shomrim was up and running, want to know why a neighborhood watch group needs a dispatcher. They say any overt action taken by members of Lakewood Shomrim could result in injury or death. Lakewood Shomrim?s founder, Shaim Rubin, says callers are told to contact 911 while a Shomrim member responds to the scene.

 

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