Goldstein is one of about 1 000 cab drivers
nicknamed cabbies who participate in "Cabwatch",
a program founded by Jason Diaz, a 27 year old management
consultant who also used to drive a cab.
Diaz organized cabwatch in 1996 after a
fried was mugged and shot near his home.
He was determined to find a way to fight
crime on a grassroots level.
To help expand the program, city residents
donated their old phones, and a mobile phone company contributed
1 000 digital phones.
Eventually Diaz hopes to outfit every taxi
in the nation with 911-only phones.
Since last June, cab-watch drivers have
reported about 150 accidents, crimes and other emergencies.
"Taxis can be a highly effective crime
deterrent and make the community feel safer", Diaz
"New York has 12 187 cabs and only
about 1500 police cars".
Community based security and public safety
groups have long been indispensable in many western countries.
Other groups such as Neighborhood Watch
and Samaritans operate effectively all over the world.
They serve as a support for over stretched
Police and public services and to create a sense of a caring
community, whose members are not scared or indifferent to
get involved in helping each other out.