(ERIE, P.A. - WICU/WSEE/CW) – For Union City’s Sean Coggin, a crowded fire hall full of people is something he never thought he'd see.


"It was actually very overwhelming." said Coggin

Overwhelming, but he says it’s promising. As a group of about 70 people sat during a special town hall meeting to find out how to get involved in the city’s newest neighborhood watch program.

It’s a program Coggin, an Air force Veteran,  has taken from just a few people on a Facebook group, and a special app, to over 500 neighbors involved.

"They're coming out of their homes, they're opening their eyes, and they’re opening their ears." Coggin said

And to add to it, they've brought on the Union City Police Department, but, they wanted to keep growing.

Enter, the Erie Neighborhood Watch Council.

"[It’s about] Seeing something, passing it on."  Chairman for the Erie Neighborhood Watch Council Joe Gallagher said

And it's a message they're passing on to the people.

While the town of about 3,200 residents has used social media to connect, Gallagher says, meeting face to face can help, too.

"People always communicate with their neighbor." said Gallagher

He says the more involvement there is, law enforcement can have more eyes where they can't be, which will help take more action.

Coggin agrees, and hopes more people will catch on.

"It takes everybody to work together." Coggin said

According to Coggin, he will be coordinating with UPD to set up formal meeting times.

As for the special town hall, Union City Police Chief David Pernice tells us, they will plan to have them annually.

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