The Woodlands Volunteer of the Year: Steve Terni trains others for Grogan's Point Neighborhood Watch
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – When Steve Terni's beloved neighborhood of Grogan's Point experienced an increase in burglaries in late 2016 through early 2017, he decided it was time to revive the Neighborhood Watch program.
Although the program initially launched in the 1990's, it had dwindled down to just one volunteer.
"I didn't really know what I was getting into or how to go about it," Terni said. "I did a little research online and found out the (Woodlands) Township has a Township-wide watch. We get resources and information directly from them."
At first, Terni thought he was signing up just for his block. After realizing it would encompass all of Grogan's Point -- some 500 houses -- he went for it anyway and began recruiting neighbors.
Today, there are 22 coordinators keeping an eye out on the safety of the community. Terni said 73 percent of homes in Grogan's Point are currently covered, a number much better than a couple of years ago, but one he would like to see increase even more.
"Being a coordinator is very important, but it doesn't take a whole lot of time, it's not a big time consumer," Terni said. "The first step is to be trained. It's a one-hour training program. We work out how many houses on your street you would be responsible for – the average number of homes a coordinator has is 18. It's not a huge amount to call and get to know your numbers."
Grogan's Point is nestled within the Village of Grogan's Mill. Terni said it's the second oldest part of The Woodlands, and its claim to fame is that George Mitchell, founder of The Woodlands, lived there.
Terni moved to The Woodlands in 2002, eventually landing in Grogan's Point in 2013.
"I had my eye on Grogan's Point for a long time, " he said. "I'm originally from New England, and this reminds me of New England. The trees, the older homes, the vegetation…"
Since retiring from Exxon in 2012, Terni spends his days enjoying a variety of hobbies: working out, golfing, and collecting and restoring vintage model trains.
Terni looks forward to bringing more people on board as Neighborhood Watch coordinators.
"I think it will be easy to get more coordinators," he said, "because our residents love this community."
Program Specialist Doris Provencio-Hopper and Grogan's Point Watch Coordinator Steve Terni