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Police chief to Brignall: Form a Neighborhood Watch

Brookhaven police are asking for people to step up in the Brignall community and form a Neighborhood Watch program.

“It’s all about getting people to work together to keep their community safe,” said Police Chief Kenneth Collins.

An introductory meeting will be held Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m. at New Jerusalem Church in Brignall. Police detective Capt. Clint Earls will also discuss scams in the city and how to avoid being a victim of them.

Police Cpl. Robbie Fields and Brookhaven Alderwoman-at-Large Karen Sullivan are working together to offer guidance to those who attend. Sullivan’s Vernondale neighborhood has participated in the program for many years.

A Brignall Neighborhood Watch program has been talked about for a while, but after two murders in as many months this summer within a few blocks of each other, it’s time to do more than talk.

In June, 7-year-old Quantavious Allen Jr., died following a drive-by shooting at his home on Grant Road. Just five weeks later, 21-year-old Zaria Antel Newton was killed when she entered her home on Mason Road while intruders were inside.

A Neighborhood Watch program would give people in the community a resource for curbing some of the crime in the area. Each road, or section of roads, would have a captain who keeps track of all the residents and their contact information. That person can be the ears and eyes of their area of the neighborhood and contact police with concerns of anything out of the ordinary. They should be familiar with who lives in their “patrol” area, “so they’ll know who’s standing out and not supposed to be there,” she said. “I hate to call it nosiness. It’s not being nosy, it’s being concerned.”

Fields has a few individuals who are willing to take on that volunteer role.

“The ones I’ve talked to are at home a lot, every day,” she said. “A lot of them are retired, don’t work, and they want to get together and see if they can help. You know when you see something, say something. We can’t do it all ourselves. That’s what we’ve been saying all along.”

For more information, call Brookhaven Police Department at 601-833-2424 and leave a message for Fields.