Neighborhood Watch Program Launches

Citizens unite for Crittenden Neighborhood Watch

By Rebecca Russo, Editorial Assistant

More than 50 people filled the Crittenden City Building on Thursday, March 13 to hear about the proposed Neighborhood Watch program for the Harvester’s subdivision in Crittenden. The crowd was a mix of middle-age and young couples and senior citizens who listened intently as Bob Douglas, executive director of the Kentucky Crime Prevention Coalition, and Grant County Sheriff Chuck Dills spoke.

“This many people coming to find out about the program tells me that there is a problem,” said Douglas.

The gathering also proved to be a catalyst for neighbor to meet neighbor, which is a necessary component for the program to be a success.

Residents talked about incidents that have occurred in the neighborhood, including slashed tires, BB pellets shot into houses, theft and vandalism of property.

“The majority of call volume we get in Crittenden is from the Harvester’s and is juvenile related,” Dills said. “It’s probably 2 percent of the population making it bad for the other 98 percent.”

Residents introduced themselves and later, shared stories.

“My husband had his tools stolen right out of the garage while he was doing yard work,” Melinda Cooper said. “We’ve lived on Barley Circle for six years; moved here from Florence to get away from this stuff.”

Tales of flowers pulled from pots and thrown into the street to doors kicked in were shared, along with stories of speeders and drug dealers in the neighborhood.

The conversation was typical of what Douglas has come to expect.

“The first session is typically a gripe session and we just let it happen and them move on,” Douglas said.

Dills wants to get the Neighborhood Watch program implemented immediately and expects to meet soon with those who volunteered to be block captains.

Dills added that several problems residents are having, the sheriff’s department can’t fix, such as the subdivision only having one roadway to enter and exit. Nearly 300 mailboxes are clustered together on Waller Drive, where no on-street parking is permitted.

“The kids hang around the mailboxes and clog up the keyholes where people can’t get their key in to get their mail. They’ve also set garbage cans on fire and hit the boxes with paintballs,” Clara Whitton said.

Whitton, who has lived on Waller Drive for three years, said she’s never had any trouble with vandals, but doesn’t want any either.

“I think the Neighborhood Watch can be very good for this neighborhood,” Whitton said.

Douglas cautioned that the Neighborhood Watch program wasn’t a quick fix.

“It’s not easy, it’s a commitment,” Douglas said. “It takes meetings, at least twice every six months, and communication to make this a success.”