Highlands neighbors (from left) Lynda Brown, Mike Valvo (center), Jason Jussif and Marianne Seitz appeared on WHAV’s Open Mic Show on Dec. 3, 2018. (Chris Porter photograph for WHAV News)
For the residents of Haverhill’s historic Highlands neighborhood, it’s all about “see something, say something.” In fact, those four simple words have been a proven method to deter crime in the area, locals tell WHAV.
During a Dec. 3 appearance on WHAV’s Open Mic Show, four members of the Highlands Neighborhood Association joined Bill Macek to praise the community policing efforts of Haverhill’s force. Through local resident meetings with Haverhill officers, Lynda Brown, Mike Valvo, Marianne Seitz and Jason Jussif have fostered relationships with the department in an effort to reduce crime and increase public safety.
“They feel, just as much as we appreciate them, they appreciate us as citizens who are so involved in caring about the neighborhood and having positive relationships with the police,” Brown said.
The group’s initial contact with the department was through the now-defunct Community Action team of Officer Eric MacKinnon, Officer Adam Durkee and Sergeant John Rosario. The department was so impressed with the concerned community that Chief Alan R. DeNaro named them Haverhill’s Citizens of the Year.
Valvo hopes the Highlands can serve as a model for other neighborhoods in Haverhill.
“It was really an amazing situation to have them not just feel like they were doing their job, but they were understanding how a neighborhood and a city stays safe and cohesive,” Valvo said. “It was one of the things that really struck me about the Haverhill Police.”
Regularly utilizing a phone tree to stay in up-to-date on happenings in their ‘hood, Highlands neighbors have doubled as crime fighters in recent months. Jussif said that he personally called police after spotting a suspicious vehicle near his home, only to learn that the occupants were arrested in a “sizeable” drug bust.
For more about the Haverhill Highlands neighbors’ impact on the city and ways to get involved, watch the Open Mic Show video below.