Neighborhood watch program lowers crime in local community

Neighborhood watch program lowers crime in local community

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Members of the Oak Ridge community discussed neighborhood safety with Oak Ridge Police. Members of the Oak Ridge community discussed neighborhood safety with Oak Ridge Police.
The Oak Ridge Neighborhood Watch program helps police and residents prevent crime in the community. The Oak Ridge Neighborhood Watch program helps police and residents prevent crime in the community.

OAK RIDGE (WATE) - No one knows better what's normal or who belongs in a neighborhood than the people who live there. That's the theory behind the formation of a local neighborhood watch group.

Members of the Oak Ridge Neighborhood Watch program say they are the first line of defense against criminal activity on their streets.

The group is celebrating work done by police officers, city leaders, homeowners and volunteers who help make Oak Ridge a safer place to live and work.

Many want to know how a group like this works. Members say officials share information with the group about criminal activity in the areas, and the group shares information with officials about what's happening in their neighborhoods.

Oak Ridge Police say they see the results. Oak Ridge Police Chief James Akagi says crime dropped by 9% in 2011 and by 11.5% in 2012.

The purpose of the group is about more than sending in tips. Members say it's about preventing crime.

Kay Brookshire, Vice President of the Oak Ridge Neighborhood Watch wants the streets of her city to be safe.

"We had a car kind of near our house for a few days and one of the neighbors kind of went up and down the street and said 'do you know who this car belongs to?' and nobody did so we called the police and they came and checked," Brookshire said. "Just to have neighbors looking out for neighbors, it's probably much better than any alarm system could do."

Police say keeping a community safe is a lot of work and the peace of mind homeowners get from a program like this one is priceless. 

 

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