Monterey area gets new Neighborhood Watch

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

MONTEREY &045;&045; Sometimes the watchful eye of a neighbor provides more protection than law enforcement can, and the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office is looking for more eyes.

The CPSO will hold an organizational meeting next week in Monterey to begin a new Neighborhood Watch group serving Monterey, Lismore, Acme, New Era and Kemp’s Landing.

Watches already exist in the parish at Deer Park and Lake St. John. The Deer Park group has been running for about seven years.

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Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Jack Fletcher said neighborhood watch groups were just as important in rural areas as in cities.

&uot;It cuts down on a lot of crime because you have people being a little more active and learning who their neighbors are and what kind of activity is normal,&uot; Fletcher said. &uot;Whether you live right next door or half a mile apart, you would know what activity goes on at that house quicker than the police.&uot;

Fletcher will meet with interested residents on March 3 at 6 p.m. at the Monterey High School cafeteria to start forming the new group.

After they find out who is interested in the Watch group, Fletcher will plot out the locations of residents and assign a block captain.

The block captain serves as a contact person for everyone on his or her block. When vacations or day trips are planned the block captain is notified so the house can be watched more closely.

After the CPSO gets the groups set up, Fletcher will allow the Neighborhood Watch to run itself.

&uot;Each individual group can meet as often as they’d like to meet,&uot; Fletcher said. &uot;A lot of groups will get together for a potluck supper at a home.&uot;

Fletcher provides the groups with several informative meetings and materials on home security. The groups can also provide security classes for their members.

&uot;It’s important that people get to know their neighbors,&uot; Fletcher said. &uot;It’s a good deal to get people more involved in the community, to know the neighbors and be concerned with their neighbors.&uot;