Neighborhood Watch to start in Ferriday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 2010

FERRIDAY — Efforts to get a Neighborhood Watch program started in Ferriday are under way.

Mayor Glen McGlothin said the program was in place years ago, but it was not a town-wide effort. He said he hopes to see that change this time around.

“If we are going to do it, we are going to do it town wide, because I think it needs to be done,” McGlothin said.

Concerned citizens had a meeting last week about forming a Neighborhood Watch program in Ferriday, and Alderman Elijah “Steppers” Banks said another meeting is in the works for July 27.

The effort to start the Neighborhood Watch program is being paired with the founding of the tentatively named Southside Garden Club, a group dedicated to cleaning up trash and empty lots around their neighborhoods, Banks said.

Plans are for the group to incorporate as a non-profit organization, and Banks said all community members — no matter where they live — are welcome to come to the meeting.

“We are going to start documenting everything we are doing so we make sure we have everything in line for when we incorporate,” Banks said.

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigator Bobby Sheppard, who was at one time the police chief in Ferriday, attended the meeting last week and told those in attendance how the Neighborhood Watch program works. The next step is up to the Ferriday police, but Sheppard said the CPSO is more than willing to help out.

“The sheriff is fully committed to the Neighborhood Watch program, so we would be fully involved and assist them in whatever way we can,” he said.

McGlothin said the town has recently seen a number of window-breakings and had problems with juveniles congregating in the streets after curfew, but the Neighborhood Watch program may help address the issue.

“I think a lot of times it takes people in the neighborhood to show the kids they shouldn’t be running around at night,” he said.

At the same time, McGlothin said the police will be stepping up and enforcing the curfew more vigorously.

“You don’t want to hassle children, but you don’t want a 12-year-old kid out at midnight on a weeknight,” he said.

The mayor said he envisioned the Neighborhood Watch program working somewhat like a civil patrol, with neighbors keeping their eyes open for neighbors.

“Maybe by doing that we can stem some of those problems, and let people know their neighbors care (and) everybody can see what we are doing and go from there,” he said.