Putney residents say NO to crime - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Putney residents say NO to crime

June 6, 2007

Putney -- A child's toy car is parked on the front lawn of a Putney neighborhood. Innocent as it may seem, it's a possible target of theft, a recent issue that people who live on McKenzie Road are fed up with.

Willie Williams has lived in the area for 60 years. He remembers the neighborhood of old.

"We all looked out for each other, we knew each other. When there was a stranger or someone strange around the neighborhood, people would check into it," says Willie.

But neighbors say recently, this quiet area has experienced an increase in crime.

According to Marsha Lazenby, "In the last year we've had thefts. We've had children's bicycles stolen. They will come in the night and steal your lawn mowers and weed-eaters. We've had people walking up and down the railroad tracks."

Suspicious people coupled with increasing thefts was reason enough for Lazenby to look into the neighborhood watch program.

Neighborhood watch programs have long been established in urban areas and cities where crimes frequently occur. But for rural areas, it's important for neighborhoods to step up before crime takes over.

So Marsha passed out flyers and called neighbors, organizing the neighborhood watch program with the assistance of Dougherty County Police. She's optimistic that it will help.

"The more people we can get together, we can unite our community together. That way we can look out for one another, and that's why I tried to start it," says Lazenby

The main goal of the neighborhood watch program is to keep the community safe and build awareness. But involvement, as with any program, is key.

Lazenby stresses, "We need the participation of everybody in this town, or in this area, to help us."

A hopeful message that by bringing a neighborhood together you can keep a community safe.

The Putney Neighborhood Watch will hold an organizational meeting tomorrow night at seven at the Putney Community Center.

Dougherty County Police will be there to answer any questions.

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