Safety Solutions: Neighborhood Watch - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/7/05

Safety Solutions: Neighborhood Watch

You don't need binoculars to keep an eye on your neighbors, but you do need a vigilant pair of eyes to be on neighborhood watch.

"The old neighborhood watch basically was just crime prevention, getting to know your neighbors and that type of thing. This is taking it a couple of steps further. What we're trying to do through homeland security is to make people aware of terrorism and also teach preparedness for disasters," said Vice President of South Plains Citizen Corps, Don Hicks.

Hicks and Pauline Kumley are gathering neighborhood association presidents and local and area sheriffs departments together, trying to create an enhanced version of the neighborhood watch programs already in place.

"We're just trying to help them build a safer community, a stronger community, a better more self-reliant and prepared neighborhood for when disasters do happen," said Hicks.

Neighborhood watch groups will be educated on not only crime prevention, but disaster and terrorism preparedness.

"Education is one of the biggest things to dispel fear, as we're educated, we educate others," said Hicks.

Part of that education will be getting to know your neighbors and asking questions.

"Let's say you live in a subdivision and that's not a farming area and your neighbor brings in a truck of fertilizer, now why do they have fetor, maybe they're going to their farm or they might be building a bomb, who knows," said Hicks.

The idea is, if you know your neighbors, and your know your neighborhood, you can respond more effectively in the event of a disaster. For example, if there was a fire, would you know how many people lived in that house, if anyone were elderly or disabled? These types of questions can help first responders.

"It's like the old theory when we go to a pot luck supper at church, the preacher would say get up and bring enough for your family and one more , the reason of course is there are to be visitors, we can invite them to eat and have enough food so the whole idea is to be prepared as a family and have enough to help another family," said Hicks.

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