Neighbors Watch City Streets

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - They may not carry guns or badges, but they're helping Odessa Police crack down on crime.

"It makes a big difference because it makes our job easier," Cpl. Jamie Brown with the Odessa Police Department, said.

And that's just what's happening. As the neighborhood watch program continues to grow, crime is dropping.

"I've seen it make a lot of difference," Snyder St. neighbor Wade Bradford, said. "I'm real proud of that."

"We've had several calls that they think it's nothing important, but then we get there and find that a house has been burglarized," Brown said.

Odessa Police say even putting up a sign makes a huge difference - creating community awareness and warning crooks.

"We actually investigate," Alan Weakland, an Odessa Neighborhood Watch member, said. "We'll talk to another neighbor if something is going on, otherwise we'll call the police and inform them if something is going on."

"The program does work, but it only works as good as the neighbors and community that want to make it work," Brown said.

And those neighbors tell NewsWest 9, since their watches began, the streets are safer.

"It gives a sense of security for your family as you're away," Weakland said.

"It makes you feel comfortable," Bradford said. "When you leave home, you don't worry as much about your belongings or somebody breaking in your house."

OPD says there's 3 main issues that keep coming up: speeding, graffiti, and car burglaries.

Right now about 10% of Odessa communities have the program in place, but that number is rapidly growing.

"I hope that it not only continues to increase the number of people involved in it, but that it will make the community as a whole more safe," Weakland said.