|Ken Hopke (left), Camelot's Neighborhood Watch coordinator, and Marlon Dubisson of Rep. Gerry Connolly's staff with a reprint of the Congressional Record page honoring the community's Neighborhood Watch program.|
Marlon Dubisson, Connolly’s outreach director, presented the citation, as published in the Congressional Record, to Ken Hopke, Camelot’s Neighborhood Watch coordinator March 10.
Connolly (D) represents Virginia’s 11th congressional district, which encompasses most of Fairfax County.
The citation in the Congressional Record states: “While there are thousands of Neighborhood Watch Programs in the country, all of which deserve our recognition and appreciation, the Camelot Neighborhood Watch Program stands out as one of the best in the nation.”
Camelot has the oldest, continuously active Neighborhood Watch Program (NWP) in the United States. “In the 40 years since its inception, the Camelot NWP has achieved great success, helping lower the general crime rate in its community,” the Congressional Record states.
“Over the past four decades, more than 70 volunteers have contributed 27,000 hours conducting 20,500 patrols and logging 220,000 miles,” Connolly’s citation states. “This dedication is a tribute to the residents of Camelot and also to the leadership exhibited by the program coordinators, past and present.”
The Camelot NWP has also been commended by the Virginia General Assembly. The Mason Police District has recognized it as one of the most effective crime reduction units in Fairfax County.
The National Sheriffs’ Association created the NWP in 1972 as a way for local citizens to work with law enforcement on crime prevention in residential areas. The mission of NWPs has expanded since then to include disaster preparedness and emergency response.