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Dunbar Stepping Up Neighborhood Watch Efforts

Reported: Feb. 27, 2014 10:57 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 28, 2014 9:15 AM EST
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DUNBAR, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) - The city of Dunbar worked Thursday night on getting its neighborhood watch groups better organized.

The move came after a murder, with the body found in the river a few weeks ago, was followed by a shooting death last week.

People, as you might imagine, are on edge.

Dunbar Police Chief Bailes said people need to get out, talk with and get to know their neighbors and, when they see something, say something.

Drugs, theft and strangers wandering around seemed to be the top three complaints. The meeting was a chance for the new chief to meet and greet and hear what's on their minds.

"I hardly know anyone on my street," Glenna Bailey, who has lived in her home 56 years, said.

Fears of drug dealers and strangers wandering their neighborhoods are what drove her, and others from all four wards in the city, to go to the neighborhood watch meeting.

She said she feels safe because of young couples, who have moved in on both sides of her and her husband.

"If we go somewhere, we have to tell them where we're going,” Bailey said. “They watch. They do keep an eye on us!"

"If everyone knows that the neighbors are watching, you're going to be noticed, it's going to curtail crime," Bailes, who’s only been on the job two months, said. “Obviously, everybody's concerned when you have crimes of that magnitude, but those types of crimes are almost unpreventable."

Rebecca Lewis said she’s felt more secure for the past few weeks.

“There has been such a good police response to everything that's happened in our town," she said.

Betty Ross said she plans to get to know her new neighbors and get a neighborhood watch plan together.

"Dunbar used to be Mayberry, and Mayberry's gone and we know that,” Ross said. “But the ideals and the neighborhood feel, they're not gone. Those values are here. We just need to dig out those Mayberry people and bring them to the surface, so the drug dealers will say, ‘This is not where I want to be.’ "

Dunbar has a curfew, which is at 11 p.m., seven days a week. Some parents had asked Bailes about the curfew, since they’d seen packs of kids wandering around late at night.

Dunbar has also just launched their own Neighborhood Watch Facebook page: Click here to post your concerns or pictures, if you see anything suspicious.



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