When hundreds of people live in a county and there are only 4 police officers to protect them and theirs, it is stupid to think that there will be no crime. But there is hope on the horizon to minimize crime if the townspeople are willing to work together to prevent as much as possible. No, I don't mean that everyone needs to go out and purchase guns, sets of handcuffs, etc. Communities around the country can start their own neighborhood watches. Time has proven that this is the number ONE best battle to stop the majority of crime in our neighborhoods. To top it all off, this does not make your taxes go up and it is completely a non-profit organization. I know of no one who would object to something like this--except for the criminals themselves.
So how do we get this started? Well, in Leoti, work is already underway. Laura Ritter has taken the bull (crime) by the horns and is taking the initiatives to make Leoti an even better place to live for not only our children, our neighbors and our selves, but for the entire community. To start the process, Laura has gained the partnership of Mayor Lori Christensen and Sheriff Randy Keeton.
This is where YOU AND I come in. We can start by visiting with our neighbors to see if they would be interested in taking their neighborhoods back. Chances are, they will. Quatrents have already been staked out. A captain will be necessary in each one. I was asked to be the captain of Quatrent "A" for our neighborhood. That will include the area north of the railroad tracks to the north edge of town and from Highway 25 to the west to the edge of town. I cannot tell you exactly where your quatrent is. For that information, you need to contact Laura at 620.401.9040. She can fill you in on all other information.
In each quatrent, safe homes are needed for children. Stan and I will be offering that in our neighborhood. If your children in our neighborhood are being bullied, chased, scared, etc, they can make their way here. We will care for them until you or the police can get here. These safe homes should put parents' minds to ease when they know that there is someone else out there who can help your children in case of any of the above situations. Those safe houses will be scattered throughout the community. Please point these homes out to your children so that they have an idea of where they can go if you are not available. If you are interested in providing this non profit service, please contact Laura.
In our part of the world, tornadoes are always a threat. Many people are killed every year in Tornado Alley because of these twisters. Unfortunately, not all of us have underground safety that we can go to easily. If you have a basement or celler that you don't mind sharing with people in your area, please let Laura know. Of course, we have wonderful public shelters that we all can go to in case of emergency but not all of us have transportation or the time necessary to get to these public shelters.
In order to have neighborhood watch work for us, we need to get street signs and window/door decals up that tell the "bad guy" that we take care of our neigbors and ourselves. Of course, these cost money. Plastic 9" by 12" neighborhood watch signs can be purchased for $4.00. 18" x 24" aluminum signs cost around $35.00 each. A package of 12 window/door decals costs $7.00. None of these prices seem especially high but they really add up when you are trying to get your neighborhood and community lined out with them. At this time, grants are being sought to purchase these crime deterents. If no grants are available, we will have to set up money raisers such as baked goods, etc or ask the neighbors to band together and purchase these materials for their neighborhood.
I have spoken with a BUNCH of people about this yesterday when this came to my attention. I talked to people on the phone, downtown and at last night's football game. Out of those people, NOT even one person was negative about this prospect coming to Leoti. A lot of them have wondered why it has taken so long to get it organized here. The answer is simple. Until now, no one evidentally took the time and energy to look into it and put things into the proper motion. Now we have the opportunity to do it.
People in Leoti can call Laura at 620.401.9040. She has left brochures at the Wichita County Sheriff's Office if you would like to drop by and pick one up. Take it around and show it to your neighbors and to local businesses. Remember to have this service, NO ONE has to pay for it. We just need to do the right thing. If you see something that should not be happening in your neighborhood, call the police and contact your neighbors. It is sad but some neighbors, for whatever reason, keep the knowledge of seeing a crime being done to themselves.
If you would like to donate money to purchase the watch materials sooner than later, please let Laura, the Sheriff's Office or City Hall know.
Wichita County Sheriff's Office: 620.375.2723
City Hall: 620.375.2341
People from around the world read my blog on a regular basis. If you do not already have Neighborhood Watch in your area, here are some websites to go to to get it started now:
www.USAOnWatch.org (national face of the Neighborhood Watch program)
www.ncpc.org (National Crime Prevention Council)
To see what all supplies can be purchased, please go to:
There may be other directories that you can go to also. To find those, google them.
If our neighbors will band together with us, we can take a B-I-G bite out of our local crime. Lets make it happen!!!