GREENVILLE — Motivated by recent crimes in the Greenville area, community members have stepped up to form a neighbor watch group.
The group, which was started by a Facebook group page on Jan. 13, is called Greenville Area Neighborhood Watch-Book. The Facebook page already has more than 600 members.
“I am very pleased to see how fast the group is growing,” said page creator David Hendrick. “The more eyes out there, the better.”
With so many people interested in helping to make Greenville a safer place, Hendrick and others have scheduled a meeting for 6 p.m. on Feb. 2 at the Hillcrest Ministry on Chase Street. The meeting is open to the public.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss goals and issues with the Facebook page, answer questions about the group and any other topics that community members bring to the table.
“I would like everyone to know that this doesn’t have to be just an online group,” Hendrick said. “You don’t have to have a computer or be on Facebook to be a part of this.”
The group was designed to help police prevent crime. Hendrick said he hopes the group will help provide information to police that could be helpful.
On the group’s page, Hendrick emphasizes that police should be called first no matter what and that the page is not trying to take the place of police. The group is just a place to give tips to other community members about what people in the community are seeing.
“Maybe if people know that neighbors are looking out for each other, it will detour some (of the crime),” Hendrick said.
Hendrick said the group still has a lot of work to do.
Through the meetings, the group hopes to invite officers to speak to the members and let them know the best ways to help them.
Hendrick said a board will be developed through the meetings to represent the group within the community and at other local meetings such as Greenville City Council.
The group also plans to make Neighborhood Watch stickers to put on vehicles and in windows.
“So far (the feedback) has been pretty positive,” Hendrick said. “We have business owners along with other pillars of the community in our group.”
Gary Huch and Kevin Rickle help Hendrick maintain the Facebook page.
Rickle said he joined the group because he cares about people and the community and hopes the group can help keep the community safe.
“I am sick of the danger,” Rickle said. “It is a way to help give an extra eye to the police department.”
Huch said he joined because his store, Huch’s Fine Jewelry, was a recent victim of crime.
Both Rickle and Huch said Greenville has limited resources and the group serves as an extra eye where people can post things they see.
“It’s community awareness,” Huch summarized.