Kinston residents step up to make their neighborhoods safer

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Community members in one of the most crime-ridden cities in the East are stepping up to help protect their neighborhoods.

Police say community watch programs in Kinston are making a difference in crime rates.

Now, police are working to implement even more of those programs.

We’ve told you about the Kinston Department of Public Safety’s various efforts to reach out and connect with the community. Police say community involvement is critical to solving and stopping crime. The community watch programs in the city are a great example of that.

Kinston Police say at least 5 watch programs have formed in different neighborhoods over the past couple years. Residents keep an eye out for anything suspicious and communicate concerns with one another and with police.

The most active group is in Fairfield Park and has more than 200 members. Residents there recently helped lead to an arrest in a string of car break-ins.

Police say these groups are greatly reducing crime in their neighborhoods.

“We can’t be everywhere all the time. But most people in the community and in the neighborhoods, they know who lives there. They know what vehicles should be there, and who shouldn’t probably be there, and they’re aware of that. And that helps us. You can’t put a price on that,” said KDPS spokesperson Woody Spencer.

Next week, they’re launching a watch program in the Simon Bright neighborhood. Police say several more are in the works.

To find out how to bring a watch program to your neighborhood, contact the Kinston Department of Public Safety.

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