Valdosta needs more neighborhood watch groups - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta needs more neighborhood watch groups

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

The city of Valdosta needs more neighborhood watch groups. Right now, the city has fewer watch groups than ever.

Every three months John McCall delivers the minutes to his neighbors for their neighborhood watch meetings. It's a watch effort of about 35 residents in the North Troup Street community.

McCall says when he moved here three years ago he had reservations about the neighborhood. But that all changed when he and his neighbors started the watch association. "Our signs really mean what they say. They say you're being watched and believe me you are."

With the neighborhood watch presence McCall says he feels much safer. "We have had very little to report since we've started the neighborhood watch. It's been more affective than our wildest dreams."

But McCall's watch group is only one of five that is active in Valdosta. At one point the city had 22 groups involved, and now officials worry people are becoming careless.

"Some because of their age feel they're not healthy enough to do it, some move out of town, some just have various reasons why they can't do it and other people don't pick it up when someone leaves," said neighborhood watch supervisor, VPD Officer Vernotis Williams.

Officer Williams says he's found that community's with watch groups have had crime decreased by 65-percent.

"Get a watch started. I cannot tell you the value of it; from your peace of mind, to increased property values in your neighborhood," said McCall.

And all you have to do is watch and report.

To find out how you can start a neighborhood watch group contact Officer Vernotis Williams at (229) 242-2606 Ext. 4090.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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