Pinellas Park neighbors beating crime

Pinellas Park neighbors created a crime watch and now crime is no longer an issue.

What if your neighborhood was riddled with crime. Gunshots flying by your bedroom window. Drug deals happening next door.

One Bay area neighborhood has had enough.

And the Davis Field Neighborhood of Pinellas Park decided it was time to take a stand and fight back against the crime.

"The gang activity would be everywhere,” says Janet Beall, a member of the Davis Field Neighborhood Crime Watch.

Beall has lived in this neighborhood for more than 20 years.

“Biggest problem was gangs on streets, that brought shootings,” says Beall.

Enough was enough.

“We banded together,” says Beall.

Her neighbors, including Mike Silcott, decided to form a Neighborhood Crime Watch and face firsthand the problems facing their beloved neighborhood.

“You feel violated. Someone’s been in your space. To combat that, it’s either move or fight and I’d rather fight,” says Silcott.

The group has dozens of members that have fought back against gangs, drug dealers, and landlords who have let buildings go to shams.

“How they help us is being extra set of eyes in the community,” says Sgt. Mike Lynch, with the Pinellas Park Police Department.

The group says it keeps a close eye on everything going on and if something is suspicious, members call police.

“Thing about crime watch, you don’t get involved but you make a call,” says Beall.

A call that this neighborhood says was the right one to fix a problem they weren’t going to let take over.
“There’s things that can be done,” says Beall.

And the group says that just this past week at their monthly meeting, their community police officer said that they had no crime last month -- a trend they will make sure continues.

In Pinellas Park, if a neighborhood watch is formed that neighborhood is assigned an officer, and the members can call that officer directly on their cell phones.

Forming a Neighborhood Crime Watch is simple. You just need to have neighbors that are dedicated in creating one, then you call your local police agency and they will help in organizing the rest.

Click these links for more info on starting a Neighborhood Crime Watch:

 Pinellas County sheriff

Hillsborough County sheriff

St. Petersburg police

Tampa police

 

 

 


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