GET ANSWERS: Starting a Neighborhood Watch

6:49 PM, Aug 30, 2010   |    comments
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The Macon Police Department says it's important for a community to get involved in crime prevention.

Rotha wrote us to find out how to start a neighborhood watch program.

Hunter Johnson and his neighbors started their neighborhood watch about nine months ago.

 

"A lot of people don't know who their next door neighbor is now. When I grew up everybody knew everybody," said  Johnson.

He knows that times have changed, but he also knows that reclaiming some of that neighborly spirit can help keep everyone along his street safe.

 

"We wanted to look out after each other," he said.

Johnson and his neighbor Susan Welsh helped organized their neighborhood watch program, and after a few false starts, they say it's going strong.

 

"Several years ago, when I first moved into this neighborhood, if I saw a police officer patrolling I would have thought something was wrong. Today, we see officers patrolling all the time and it's just a wonderful feeling," said Welsh.

They hold meetings every few months at a nearby church and share new information on how to stay safe in the neighborhood.

 

 

Major Tonnie Williams with the Macon Police Department says no one knows a neighborhood like the people who live there and that makes them the best option to keep an eye and ear out for unusual people or activities.

 

"You would know better that a neighbor is on vacation or a neighbor may be in the hospital sick and that that vehicle is not normally there or I'm not familiar with those people being at Mr. or Mrs. so-and-so's house," said Williams.

All it takes to start a neighborhood watch program with the Macon Police Department is at least 10 people and a phone call to the at 478-751-2797.  If you don't live in Macon, contact your local law enforcement agency about their neighborhood watch programs.

For Johnson and Welsh that call helped them get signs and develop a community newsletter letting everyone know about meetings, and safety tips.   It also helped create friendships and allows the neighbors to be more social.

"It just feels good, it's just a great sense of community and it all started for us with the neighborhood watch," said Welsh.

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