With break-ins increasing in town, two organizations have ramped up their efforts to fight crime in Helena-West Helena. The Beech Street Neighborhood Watch program, for example, is taking a proactive approach in reporting all suspicious behavior to the authorities.
With break-ins increasing in town, two organizations have ramped up their efforts to fight crime in Helena-West Helena. The Beech Street Neighborhood Watch program, for example, is taking a proactive approach in reporting all suspicious behavior to the authorities. The Beech Street Neighborhood Watch program started their watch area within a 4 block by 4 block area and have since erected visible signage. There is a push by local citizens outside this 4x4 block area to expand into other neighborhoods in downtown Helena. Another group taking a proactive approach in fighting crime in Helena-West Helena is E.C.O.P. (Every Citizen on Patrol). ECOP is an avenue for citizens to voice their concerns regarding public safety and they have joined forces with AlertID. According to the official ECOP website at e-cop.org, "AlertID is proven to help reduce crime while improving safety and security for children, families and entire communities across the country by providing information and public safety alerts from trusted sources including law enforcement, schools, neighbors, family members and friends." Though the crime rate has not dwindled in the community, what has decreased is the response time by the police department. It is not uncommon for the response times to be less than one minute following a caller's report to dispatch. Therefore, if you see any suspicious activity, call 9-1-1 immediately and the chances of criminals getting caught increase greatly. Police Chief Uless Wallace reminds our readers that if you witness any suspicious activity, report to dispatch the best description possible. Take note of the kind and color of clothing, any accessories (hat, bandanna, weapon, etc.), direction of travel (whether on foot or automobile), and any recognizable features of the suspicious person. If you witness a suspicious vehicle in your neighborhood, report the color of the vehicle, make and model, and any part of the license place number if at all possible. To further enhance the safety in your neighborhood, the National Crime Prevention Council has a list of personal safety tips for the home: -Do not allow strangers into your home, even if they are hurt or say they need help. Keep the door locked and call the police for them. -Do not advertise that you live alone. -Do not be afraid to call law enforcement to investigate suspicious circumstances, unusual people, or strange noises. -When you move into a new home or apartment, change the locks if you own it or ask the manager to change them if you rent. -Do not leave notes on your door announcing when you will be home. -Keep outdoor lights on at night. -If you arrive home and your door is open or things appear to be out of place, do not go in. Leave and call 9-1-1. -If a robber accosts you, follow his instructions. -Do not argue or attempt to fight with your assailant.