They've been 'PROWLing' in Pine Run for 20 years

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By Amy Ryffel-Kragh

One of the longest running community patrol groups celebrated two decades of service this week. And the Marion County Sheriff’s Office made sure it thanked the group for its dedication and service to the community.

Captain Jim Burton, commander of the Southwest District, presented awards to the Pine Run Owl Watch League, the third oldest crime watch group in the county.

The crime watch group, affectionately known as PROWL, and its longest serving members, received awards of recognition. Before presenting the awards, Burton praised the Pine Run crime watch group for all it does. “I want to thank you very much,” he said.

Francis Golomb was one of about a dozen members who were presented an award for their service. “I was very surprised,” she said of receiving the award. Ms. Golomb, who has volunteered with PROWL for 15-years, said she wanted to help the community by being involved with the group.

And being a decade away from the century mark hasn’t slowed her down. She recently celebrated her 90th birthday and volunteered a bell ringer for the Salvation Army this past Christmas. “I am going to keep going as long as I can,” she said of her volunteer work.

Husband and wife team Robert and Dorie Kautz were also recognized for their service. Robert, another longtime member, has contributed 20 years of service. He started with the group “to protect the community.”

Dorie, who started a few years after her husband, wanted to be apart of PROWL because she wanted to help the community. “I felt it was a very good organization,” she said. In addition to PROWL, the Kautz’s also used to volunteer with Meals on Wheels.

For Chester Lucinski, who has been with PROWL for about three years, it only seemed natural that he would join a crime watch group. “It’s in the blood, I guess,” he said. Lucinski’s son and grandson are both police officers in New York.

Before the award presentation, Dan Kowalski, president of the PROWL group, recalled the early days of the crime watch organization. PROWL was organized in 1987 and his earliest records showed that they began patrolling the streets in 1988.

In the early days, the group used their own vehicles to patrol the streets. But in 1996 they received their first patrol car, which was a 1988 Ford Crown Victoria. Today, the have two patrol cars on the streets.

In addition to prowling the streets, the crime watch organization also helps with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Southwest District annual Halloween party.

After the awards presentation, Captain Burton swore in a few new PROWL officers. The tradition of Pine Run’s community service continues.