Sunday, July 29, 2012

Neighborhood Watch

While editing the Bylines for the next publication I read this article written by Jackie Lloyd. Recently I had a conversation with two friends about this subject. We are a small town and as Jackie states we need to "arm" ourselves with information and report suspicious activity to authorities.

     "July 2nd began as a normal day, the Center extension line was ringing off the hook with questions about the parade and fireworks display. The usual call always beginning with “Is this Bayview?”  Near 9am another call came in, however, the caller wanted to know who to call to report drug activities in their neighborhood.  In the few years that I have been Center manager, I have never received a call of this nature, was not prepared for the question. My response was the pat “you need to call the Sheriff”.  I really was rattled. 
     This obviously concerned Bayviewite was not at all satisfied with my answer and our following interchange was tense at best.  It was really obvious that this individual was not only upset, but probably frustrated and afraid.  Unfortunately, I was remiss in getting more thorough information.
     I did try calling the Sheriff myself to report what transpired and give them what information I had, but they were of little help and referred me to the Violent Crimes Unit run by the FBI.  They in turn referred me back to the local authorities.  I even called a local COPPS person who also referred me back to the Sheriff.  I began to see why this person was so upset.   
     I did contact an individual that lived in the target area and gave him the information.  Since there is a neighborhood watch program there, he was able to talk with the more immediate neighbors and learned that this house has been of concern to them as well.  However, for whatever reason, they were not reporting the ongoing activities to the authorities.  My friend did remind them that the Sheriff’s office would do nothing unless reports were filed.  He further made it clear to these folks that it was their responsibility to call in reports when suspicious activities were noticed. 
     So, I must first apologize to the caller for not being more directly responsive to their concern.  Second, let you know that this house is on the radar, and is known to the authorities.  However, since we are an unincorporated town it is important to know that everyone must be vigilant and proactive in protecting our neighborhoods.  We should form neighborhood watch programs where there is none, and report all suspicious activities to our Sheriff’s Department. As if to exemplify the need, there has been a more recent attack. Namely, a vicious and lewd sign was left on the Buttonhook Board.  We do not want to become a bunch of vigilantes but we must arm ourselves with good information of “what to do” and “who to call”.  And please, by all means make reports to the Sheriff, keep logs on the incidents and get your neighbors to do the same." (Jackie Lloyd)

Get involved with your neighborhood. Protect our small little town. We do not have to "put up" with illegal activity.

Norma Jean

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