Florida shooting causing local neighborhood watch programs to cu - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Florida shooting causing local neighborhood watch programs to curb crime

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NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

There are 13 Nacogdoches neighborhood watch programs.

For now, there's no concern the controversy surrounding neighborhood watch guard George Zimmerman is hampering local efforts to curb crime.

"Don't think it has and I'll tell you why because it may be this story or it may just be the time of year. I have answered several calls in the last two weeks from people wanting to start neighborhood watch," said Greg Sowell from the Nacogdoches Police Department.

Pecan Orchard neighborhood watch guard Bill Clark and neighbor Margaret Russell never want a reluctance from neighbors to look out for one another.

"In fact, we were talking about that this morning because that very thing about the neighborhood and the safety and we hope it can remain the same in our retirement years, don't we bill," said Russell.

When a new neighbor moves in, they're taken a cake and given the rules.

"If they spot something that's irregular than they'll call me or they'll call the officials," said Clark.

Neighborhood watch groups are taught how to be the eyes and ears for police, but not to do their work.

"Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to take anyone in custody yourself," warns Sowell.

However, nothing in neighborhood watch takes away the rights or privileges of law abiding citizens.

"Have a concealed carry, yes," said Village Gate neighborhood watch member Dennis Eby.

However, the Village Gate neighborhood watch participant rarely exercises the privilege.

"I don't even normally carry it around here," said Eby.

Instead, the 30 homeowners learn to just watch out for one another.

"We haven't had a theft over here," said Eby.

Safely observing and knowing how to report an incident to police is proving to be the best protection against crime.

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