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Neighborhood Watch Groups and Neighborhood Safety
Neighborhood Watch Groups and Neighborhood Safety

AIR DATE: March 30, 2012

The shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida sparked a national debate on racial profiling, and the degree of force that citizens can use.  The watch captain, George Zimmerman, drove around the neighborhood carrying a loaded gun. 
What degree of protection should neighborhood watch groups have?  How have local watch groups changed their policies since this incident?  A police official, a gun training instructor, and neighborhood watch captains join us to discuss.  And we want to hear from you: call 258-3552 during the live program leave your comments below.
Kathy Perkins, Crime Prevention Specialist, LVMPD
Lucy Baines, Neighborhood Watch Captain
Bob Canfield, Neighborhood Watch Captain
Teresa Cragon, Desert Horizons Neighborhood Watch Captain
Mike Murray, firearm instructor and co-owner, A Calculated Response

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I wished the panel would have addressed a serious point. What is suspicious? I am a young African American in a very nice neighborhood. In comparison to most in the community, I look out of place, especially if I have a hooded sweatshirt on taking my daily walk for exercise. It is upsetting that one individuals preconceived bias, can affect my day, attitude and potentially my life, like Trayvon Martins. My bank account, education, credit profile or business experience are not suspicious; regretfully in the year 2012 in the US, my appearance is, to some narrow minded people. The use of racial profiling (by anyone,i.e police, neighborhood watch, community security) is a direct infringement on my freedoms and liberty to enjoy the life that I have worked hard for. It is ironic that the vast majority that cry about their own freedoms and liberty, also agree with the concept and use of racial profiling.... The main point in Trayvon Martin tragedy, is if that young man was just viewed as an American citizen exercising his right to walk in an allowable place (not trespassing), this incident would never have occurred.
EdMar 28, 2012 10:26:34 AM
I agree with you and the fact that we were not able to move past the tragic Florida incident in the interview today, even though we tried, is what I was hoping to avoid. In our Neighborhood Watch programs we provide ample information and even a brochure entitled "Reporting Suspicious Activity and Crime" to help educate our community Neighborhod Watch participants on what is "suspicious". Often we say that it is not the mere presence of a person that makes him/her suspicious, but rather it is their actions and behavior. To assume someone is suspicious merely because they are present is often wrong. What are they doing, if anything, that would support that assumption?
Kathy PerkinsMar 28, 2012 12:54:52 PM
I see my neighborhood in Henderson deteriorating due to the increase in rental properties. I feel less safe and have no idea who my neighbors are. I would welcome an organized watch program in my area.
LoriMar 28, 2012 09:51:36 AM
Your description of your Henderson neighborhood would be of interest to the Henderson Police Department and the Officers who are tasked with community policing and Neighborhood Watch. Usually it is a citizen concern like yours that starts the ball rolling and brings the neighborhood situtaion to light so it can be addressed. "The best crime prevention is citizen attention!" Contact your Henderson Police Department and ask to speak with your Officers who can assist. They have a fine program in Henderson.
Kathy PerkinsMar 28, 2012 12:57:57 PM
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