Neighborhood Watch Groups Not Backing Down

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Meridian, Miss. Meridian Neighborhood Watch leaders say a number of efforts have helped them step up their game against burglaries and break-ins.

36th Avenue Neighborhood Watch president Al Willis has been working with Captain Wade Johnson from the Meridian Police Department in order to determine how his Neighborhood Watch group can continue its ongoing fight against the bad guys.

"We have a lot of senior citizens in our area," Willis points out. "And with the police department coming out with their new system, their quadrant sytem which the chief has enacted, it has been a better situation for all of us in our neighborhood."

Willis tells Newscenter 11 he and his neighbors living on a stretch of 36th Avenue are seeing police officers patrol the neighborhood at all hours of the day. That doesn't mean residents are letting their guard down. In fact, Willis was recently a victim of crime when he says someone broke into his car on a Sunday morning.

"I had a gun missing," Willis recalls. "Well, about five days later, the officer called me and told me they had found my weapon, which was a great concern to me that my weapon wouldn't be out there in the streets where something else could happen."

That's why Willis and Johnson say Neighborhood Watch participants continue to keep a close eye out for anyone who looks out of place. They say doing that and providing a detailed description of the individual in question remains the top priority.

"Take those preventative measures, lock the doors," Captain Johnson encourages. "Don't leave things in your car."

Neighborhood Watch leaders tell us regardless of where you live in the city of Meridian, the important thing is for as many as possible to become involved in a Neighborhood Watch group. To learn more about becoming involved, contact Captain Johnson at 601-485-1846.