In the last year crime has been on the rise in Lake Charles communities, especially Oak Park.  Neighbors are fed-up, launching a Neighborhood Watch by joining forces with the Police Jury and local law enforcement.

Lake Charles residents Mac Golden, Barbara Farceite, district Police Juror Tony Guillory and Lieutenant James Stewart with the Lake Charles Sheriffs Dept. spearheaded the Oak Park Neighborhood Watch a year and a half ago.  Burglaries in the area has been on a steady rise and as members of the community they felt it was time to take a stand and do something about it.

Once off the ground, they started going out in the community encourages neighbors to join.  As more and more residents became aware of the group, the meetings began to grow and so did the members of the Neighborhood Watch.  The main focus of the monthly meetings is to inform neighbors of the types of crimes happening in the area, what to look for and the things residents can to do to protect their property.

The local law enforcement now has a designated task force for neighborhood crimes.  Every month Lieutenant Stewart comes to the Oak Park Neighborhood Watch meetings and gives updates on the type of crimes his dept. and others are working in the area and gives tips on what members could do, to run criminals out of the area.

The main form of defense Lieutenant Stewart says is to be vigilant, "Pay attention to what's going on.  If you see or hear anything on your street that isn't right, call the local law enforcement immediately, so they can come out and investigate the situation."  This especially means people and strange vehicles traveling down the street and in the alleys.

Attend our next meeting Tuesday September 9th at 5:30 pm at the Hillcrest/Bellard Community Center located at 2808 Hillcrest Dr in Lake Charles.  All Neighborhood Watch meetings are every 2nd Tuesday of each month at 5:30 pm.  Everyone is welcome to attend no matter what community you represent.

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