Town watch formed in response to Upper Darby flasher

March 11, 2012 5:01:02 PM PDT
Mansfield Avenue is the kind of neighborhood where kids play basketball in the street and the homes and yards are kept neat and tidy.

It's also the kind of neighborhood where news about a man exposing himself or approaching and questioning children, as was reported nearby last week, makes residents like Brian Amato want to take action.

"It's my town; it's my responsibility as a homeowner. I wanted to do something for my community," Amato said.

Nearly two dozen neighbors gathered at the Amato home this afternoon to get an update from police, and to learn more about the formation of a neighborhood watch.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood told them police are following lots of leads, but that parents shouldn't feel their children aren't safe outside.

"We have somebody who's sick, a criminal and the potential for escalation based on my experiences, but I also don't want people to be afraid to walk out of their house or send children to school because that's not the case," Chitwood said.

Mayor Tom Micozzie encouraged neighbors to take an active role in keeping their community safe.

"Our message here tonight is to continue to keep involved in the town watch for a multitude of issues that happen on a daily basis," Micozzie said.

The neighbors received flyers with a composite sketch of the suspect the children described as a heavy-set white man in his 50s with brown hair and a salt-and-pepper beard who drove a blue or green minivan.