Neighbors gather to discuss ways to reduce crime
Published 8:02 am Thursday, July 30, 2015
A neighborhood watch could soon be created in the area of East I Street and Holston Avenue after a community meeting was called Wednesday at the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department.
Chris Simmons, spokesperson for the group, initiated discussion about all the various types of crime occurring in the area.
“We are kind of in fear of what happens when we walk out of our house,” Simmons said. “We’re really here to get some ideas.”
Simmons pointed out that there are now extra patrols being conducted in the area.
“We do appreciate the increase in patrols,” Simmons said.
Simmons’ neighbors took turns describing unlawful events that have happened on their properties. Accounts of criminal activity ranged from items stolen off porches to break ins and vandalism.
“These are crimes of opportunity,” Elizabethton Police Department Chief Greg Workman said. “It’s what happens all across, not just Elizabethton, but all across the state of Tennessee.”
Once the discussion concluded, Workman addressed the concerns, offered his advice to the group and updated some property owners about arrests that were made in their cases.
Two of the incidents that were brought up have resulted in charges being filed, Workman said.
“Within the area we are talking about, I think we have three unsolved at the time being,” Workman said. “All crimes are important to me whether they are felonies or misdemeanors because it affects our department and the community.”
The most important piece of advice he offered was to report everything and don’t hesitate to call 911. He also reminded residents that they have the right to protect their property.
“Neighborhood watch is an excellent idea,” Workman said. “We can get you started on that. We can get you some guidance on that.”