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Brookhaven police chief planning neighborhood watch programs

Brookhaven’s police chief has his eye on some new recruits — you.

Chief Kenneth Collins believes it will take the community coming together to help make the city safer for the people who live, work, play and worship here.

Collins said there’s recently been a number of cars burglarized in residential neighborhoods and also in business parking lots.

“I’m asking for your help in putting some of this to a stop,” he said. “We must work together to keep our town safe.”

He said it will take residents getting involved and he’d like to see Neighborhood Watch programs organized throughout the city. Plans are in the works for that to happen, he said.

“I’m asking for your eyes and ears,” Collins said. “If you see anything suspicious in your neighborhood or at a business, please contact the Brookhaven Police Department because you never know what crime you may be preventing.”

He encouraged drivers to avoid leaving their cars unlocked, especially with the keys still in the ignition.

“To help prevent your car from being burglarized, please make sure your car is locked and all your money and valuables are out of sight at all times,” he said. “They’re looking for easy access. They’re going to pick the easiest ones first.”

Collins said having Neighborhood Watch programs in place can help the department utilize its officers more effectively.

“We are working overtime and officers are only having one day off in efforts to keep our town safe,” he said.

Collins is looking for team leaders in all areas of town who can help BPD get the watch programs started.

“Anyone that’s retired or has free time on their hands that could help in making their neighborhoods safe, please call the Brookhaven Police Department and leave your name, contact number and the area where you live. If we don’t start now, it’s only going to get worse because the holidays are coming soon.”

The holidays are a busy shopping time, which gives thieves additional opportunities to break the law — and into cars and houses, he said.

He said shoppers should avoid posting purchases on Facebook.

“Stay off of Facebook posting what you’ve got,” he said. “The Grinch is watching.”

For more information about setting up a Neighborhood Watch program, contact BPD at 601-833-2424.