Six Mile residents create neighborhood watch network
By by Dianna Wray
Oct. 26, 2010 at 5:26 a.m.
In Six Mile, the neighbors are watching, and they want everyone to know it.
More than 30 residents of Six Mile packed into the Calhoun Airport Community Room on Tuesday evening to discuss creating a neighborhood watch.
Six Mile Neighborhood Watch organizer Kenneth Wenske said he decided to try to create a watch after an attempted break-in at a friend's house last week.
"I saw the fear on my friend's face. She was so upset. I just had to do something," Wenske said.
Wenske purchased four metal Neighborhood Watch Signs and 100 stickers for the community, and invited law enforcement to attend the meeting on Tuesday evening.
The group heard Sheriff's Deputy Scott Stanfield talk about what a neighborhood watch does.
The main thing is to be vigilant, Stanfield said.
He advised the residents to let each other know when they are going out of town, to take note of people looking into windows and vehicles moving slowly through the area, or any other suspicious behavior.
While Precinct 2 Constable William Billings says that there hasn't been a large increase in crime in the Six Mile area, Stanfield said the county as a whole has seen an increase in crime because of the down-turned economy.
Having an active neighborhood watch is one of the the best ways to prevent crime, Stanfield said.
"It's an added benefit for us. We can't be everywhere all the time, so it helps us to have eyes out there," Stanfield said.
However, he warned people not to try to deal with suspicious persons on their own because they might get hurt.
"We don't want anyone getting hurt out there," Stanfield said.
Wenske said it's still unclear how the Six Mile Neighborhood Watch will be run. They might hold meetings, or just have each area of the community break into smaller segments keeping an eye out for each other, he said.
Six Mile resident Peggy Shafer said she was there because she was worried about crime.
"We're concerned about our neighborhood. This is a major concern for everybody," Shafer said.
Fellow resident Dee Harkey has already been the victim of a break-in. Harkey's home was broken into earlier this year and some personal items stolen, he said.
"I don't want any of my neighbors to go through that. Anything that we can do to help prevent it is something I want to be involved in," Harkey said.