The open house will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Beeville Community Center, 111 E. Corpus Christi St., and conclude at 9 p.m.
“Beeville’s changing,” said Elizabeth Galloway. Newcomers are showing up in every neighborhood and residents who have lived in the city for years are seeing new faces on their streets all the time.
“Getting to know your neighbors is a good idea,” Galloway said.
She became aware of the importance of knowing one’s neighbors during a citywide meeting a year ago when residents attended to hear police officers speaking on juvenile gangs in the community. At the end of that meeting, some of those attending mentioned the idea of Neighborhood Watch programs.
Galloway and her husband, businessman and former mayor John Galloway, were encouraging attendance at the April 26 meeting this week.
“Everyone in the community is invited to come with their family to learn more about Neighborhood Watch and how it could benefit their area,” Galloway said.
County Judge David Silva will address those at the meeting. BPD Crime Prevention Officer Patrolman Greg Baron will be there to provide information and answer questions. Light refreshments will be served.
“Neighborhood Watch is not just about putting up signs,” Mrs. Galloway said. “Working with the police department, we have learned that it is critical to stay in contact with your neighbors and be alert as to who goes in and out of your neighborhood. We have listened to crime reports, learned to be aware of our surroundings and when and how to report suspicious situations to the police.”
“We have been assured by Chief Joe Treviño that the police department is dedicated to making Beeville a safer community and that having a Neighborhood Watch group will help in achieving that goal.”
The BPD has the city divided into zones for patrol. The organization the Galloways started is called 3.1, because it was the first watch group formed in Zone 3. Shortly after their organization formed, Neighborhood Watch 3.2 was formed.
Two more groups are forming right now, Galloway said – one in Zone 3 and another in Zone 2 near Kohler Park.
“Don’t ever be afraid to call the police,” Galloway said. Communication between neighbors and between neighbors and police is essential.
She told of one woman in her neighborhood who came home and heard a noise in her bedroom. She heard someone leaving the house and when she went to check, she found that her drawers had been dumped and her television had been unplugged.
“What happens when the (Neighborhood Watch) signs go up is that the activity slows down. Then the residents of the neighborhood become complacent, and problems start again.
If burglars and thieves realize residents of a certain neighborhood will call the police when they see suspicious activity, they will avoid that neighborhood.
At least one burglary suspect has been arrested recently when a suspicious homeowner called police to report a stranger walking in her neighborhood.
Galloway said that when burglars and thieves realize residents of a certain neighborhood will call the police to check out strangers, they will quit going to those neighborhoods.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.