Vidalia community-wide neighborhood watch meeting today

Published 12:03 am Monday, November 10, 2014

VIDALIA — Residents will get the chance to share their concerns about neighborhood safety tonight during Vidalia Police Department’s community-wide neighborhood watch meeting.

Organizer Georganna Berry said the VPD and the citizens of Vidalia will have the opportunity to come together to develop a better community.

“We want to make sure that everybody is getting the benefit of the neighborhood watch,” Berry said. “This will be their opportunity to attend the meeting and express some concerns for their area.”

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The VPD has hosted meetings in different areas throughout the city, but Berry said she thinks a community-wide meeting can generate better progress.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to reach more citizens here in Vidalia and make them feel welcome,” Berry said.

The VPD wants the community to know they are here to help.

“We are here as a department to serve and protect our citizens,” Berry said. “The meeting will let residents know that we’re here to do whatever we possibly can to keep them safe.”

Vidalia Police Chief Arthur Lewis said he thinks the community-wide neighborhood watch meeting is something that can benefit the entire city.

“The police officers need all the help they can get when they are on the streets,” Lewis said. “A lot of people think we can automatically assume what’s going on when they call us, but without the public’s help, we can’t do our job the way it should be done.”

Lewis said the watch program helps the VPD keep track of the communities within Vidalia.

“It’s important that the neighbors are involved in this program,” Lewis said. “They know what’s going on in their community. We might be assigned to an area for a short while, but we might not recognize the unusual.”

Berry said the community is the eyes and ears the VPD needs in order to develop surrounding areas.

Those who attend will learn how to look for suspicious activities, how to describe a suspect, how to keep their houses safe and be a help to the VPD, without getting involved in dangerous situations.

The community-wide neighborhood watch will meet at 6 p.m. today at the old recreation center on Locust Street in Vidalia.

Lewis commended Berry for helping the VPD get the community-wide watch going.

“She was dedicated to it, and she saw it through,” Lewis said. “She can relate to the people.”