CHATHAM, NJ - A recent neighborhood watch program information meeting held at a Yarmouth Road residence in the township coincidentally occurred on the same day that Chatham Township earned yet another safest-places-to-live ranking.

Actually, it doesn't seem that it is a coincidence that Chatham Township was ranked the No. 14 safest place to live in New Jersey when the growing "Neighborhood Watch" program is taken into account. The latest ranking was the 2016 report published by Alarm Systems Review. 

The Chatham Township Police Department has earned a number of national safety rankings, which is based on FBI statistics that rate violent crime rates and property crime numbers. To see other rankings that include Chatham Township CLICK HERE.

Chatham Borough was not mentioned in the rankings by Alarm Systems Review, which noted that a town is likely missing if the FBI's Uniform Crime Report is not complete.

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According to the FBI statistics, in the Alarm Systems Review, there are just 0.1 violent crimes committed per 1,000 residents in Chatham Township and 3.8 property crimes per 1,000 residents.

Detective Anthony LoPorto and officer Michael Bloom handed out their Neighborhood Watch Handbook at the recent meeting held in the home of Chatham Township Committee member Karen Swartz.

"The neighborhood watch is you," LoPorto said.

The basic idea is to help inform the police of suspicious or illegal activity in your neighborhood.

LoPorto and Bloom pointed out that people shouldn't hesitate to report suspicious activity, but not things like "a fox eating a bird in your back yard."

In addition to quick reporting to the police, detailed descriptions and license plate numbers can be of great help to investigators.

Chatham Township could reduce its property crime rate if residents would remember to lock their cars and bring their keys into the house.

"I promise you that your car will not be stolen if you lock your car," Bloom said. "The days of people hot-wiring cars is over. Cars reported stolen are always by people who left their keys in the car unlocked."

Residents wishing to set up a neighborhood watch meeting should contact the police department at 973-377-0100.