Wednesday, July 31, 2013
© Copyright 2013
Clayton News Daily
JONESBORO — The residents of one of the county’s oldest subdivisions will celebrate the second anniversary of their Neighborhood Watch program at 7 p.m. Monday.
Organizers Marion and Nancy Hutchinson said the celebration for Oak Forest Neighborhood Watch will be held at Church of the Harvest International at 7086 Tara Blvd. in Jonesboro. Since forming the program, residents partnered with the church to use one of its meeting rooms. “We can celebrate the progress we’ve made in the past two years,” said the couple in a press release issued this week. “A united neighborhood helps to make a safe neighborhood. This is a good time to visit and invite a new neighbor or a neighbor who has not been involved.”
The group celebrated its first anniversary last year at the same church. More than 50 residents of the subdivision’s 300-plus residents participated in marking the occasion. Clayton County police Officer Eddie Soto, who helped Jonesboro police Chief Franklin Allen get the program started in 2011, said then that residents are involved in their community.
“They are very active in Neighborhood Watch,” said Soto in August 2012. “They are well-established and organized. It’s very rare to have a Neighborhood Watch program last as long as a year.”
The couple said they decided to fight back against crime.
“We had 21 burglaries last year but only five during the same time period this year,” said Nancy Hutchinson. “I do think it’s a result of the joint effort of the neighbors. Sometimes you gotta wake ‘em up and tell them what to do. It can be as simple as calling 911.”
The program got a $750 grant last year from then-Sheriff Kem Kimbrough’s foundation. Marion Hutchinson was emotional as he accepted the money.
Hutchinson got choked up and had trouble finishing his acceptance speech.
“We live in one of the oldest subdivisions in the county,” said Hutchinson. “We just got tired of the crime so we just took some action.”
Hutchinson said the grant will be used to order supplies and seek funding.
For information on forming a Neighborhood Watch program, call the Clayton County Police Department at 770-477-3747.