Gardner Street has been a part of the Berkley Neighborhood Watch group for the past two years in an effort to deter crime in the area. The group at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, will hold a meeting at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to instruct others on how to establish neighborhood watches to create a citywide program. -- ANDREW FAISON/TIDEWATER NEWS
Gardner Street has been a part of the Berkley Neighborhood Watch group for the past two years in an effort to deter crime in the area. The group at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, will hold a meeting at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to instruct others on how to establish neighborhood watches to create a citywide program. -- ANDREW FAISON/TIDEWATER NEWS

Archived Story

Neighborhood Watch considered for entire city

Published 8:53am Saturday, February 16, 2013

BY ANDREW FAISON/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
andrew.faison@tidewaternews.com

FRANKLIN—These days, Marilyn Monroe feels a little safer in her Berkley Heights neighborhood.

The Gardner Street woman thanks her Neighborhood Watch program, which is now being considered for a citywide program.

“I feel safer thanks to our neighborhood watch,” the 43-year-old Franklin woman said. “Police patrol the area better thanks to people reporting suspicious behavior.”

The Berkley Neighborhood Watch group at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, will hold a meeting at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center for those who are interested.

“If we were able to establish this as a citywide effort, we as citizens could be the eyes for the police department,” said Frank Davis, president of the Berkley Neighborhood Watch group. “We know (the police) can’t be everywhere at once, but the information we can give them could become a valuable lead in preventing or solving crimes.”

The idea came together during the group’s January meeting.

“There was a lot of concern over the events that transpired New Year’s Eve,” Davis said. “The group felt more effort should be made to prevent crime by organizing the program.”

A 55-year-old Franklin woman was allegedly raped at 2 a.m. while walking along Gardner Street from a New Year’s Eve church service.

“We had quite a few people that came from other areas during our initial meeting two years ago,” Davis said. “People work hard to buy things and want to protect those things as much as they can. That is why we feel this program is going to work.”

During the meeting, Franklin Police Sgt. Scott Halverson will discuss the importance of the neighborhood watch program and outlay steps to organize new groups.

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