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Neighbors watching out for neighbors

Years ago, before we became so sophisticated, most cities had a couple of police officers or a sheriff and a few deputies kept watch at night. The surest kind of patrol came from neighbors watching out for other neighbors.

Recently, police officers have staked out neighborhoods in Selma in search of burglars who have taken guns, money and jewelry.

One of the hardest hit areas in recent weeks: Castlewoods.

On Tuesday, Selma police Lt. David Evans announced the department has a suspect. Before leveling charges against the suspect, the department has to have solid evidence. That takes time.

Meanwhile, some residents have lost valuables.

What’s to do? Form a Neighborhood Watch group.

Here are some safety tips from the National Crime Prevention:

Work with the police or sheriff’s office. These agencies are critical to a Watch group’s credibility and are the source of necessary information and training.

Hold regular meetings to help residents get to know each other and to decide upon program strategies and activities.

Canvass door-to-door to recruit members.

Ask people who seldom leave their homes to be “window watchers,” looking out for children and reporting any unusual activities in the neighborhood.

Sponsor a crime and drug prevention fair at a church hall, temple, shopping mall or community center.