Neighborhood Watch Group Fights Back

POSTED: Thursday, March 5, 2009 - 8:48pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:57pm

A neighborhood watch group in Central is fighting back. Thursday, an insurance company gave the EBR Sheriff’s Office a grant to build more programs. The grant will be used to help other neighborhoods start watch groups and put up signs to alert criminals about the group. A neighborhood in Central has seen drastic changes since they started up their neighborhood watch four months ago.

Along Forest Gove Ave., just off Wax Road in Central crime was a big problem. Neighbors say they saw drug deals in the park and on the streets and they just didn’t feel safe. Four months ago they started up a neighborhood watch group. Lori Zalfen, the neighborhood watch captain, says, “We’ve just had so many problems in the neighborhood and we needed some help from the Sheriff’s station.”

Since they’ve started their watch group, crime is down, neighbors are involved, and a dilapidated park is being repaired. The EBR Sheriff’s Office says the neighborhood watch here can serve as a model for other neighborhoods looking to take a stand. Deputies say when neighbors are involved it’s easier t fight crime.

State Farm Insurance donated more than $2,000 Thursday to the Sheriff’s Office to help them do more with neighborhood watch. Since the group started out, neighbors say drug dealers are moving out. “The last several weekends, we’ve had very many drug busts and we’ve been cleaning it up that way.”

The Sheriff’s Office has also helped Lori Zalfen get signs put up so drivers know to look out for her child. “We’re not going to give up, we’re going to have these meetings every month and show every tenant we’re not going to give up.” Detectives say when neighbors stand up and give them information, it’s much easier to fight crime and keep people safe.

If you’d like to start a neighborhood watch program in your neighborhood just call the EBR Sheriff’s Office at 389-5000 and they’ll get you set up.