Extra eyes patrolling Beaumont's west end - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Extra eyes patrolling Beaumont's west end

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There are extra sets of eyes patrolling Beaumont's west end.

The Dowlen West Neighborhood Association began forming after a rash of burglaries in April. Police cuffed burglars who were causing chaos in a normally quiet area. Allison Getz watched her neighborhood go into a frenzy and decided then that it was time to take action.

"We saw it as a real need to try to help our neighbors become more aware of what's going on and be able to help each other in the event of circumstances like that," said Getz.

Getz says neighbors now have a "vested" interest in improving the area. While patrolling, residents now wear newly purchased association vests.

On nextdoor.com, 180 residents have signed on to keep in contact with each other. It's an internet site where you can post any unusual activity.

"Somebody will see a strange car and they'll post it on this website and then an email goes out to everyone. Then, they're on the lookout for this person," said Getz.

Residents like Kim McMurray are going a step further by joining the Citizens Police Academy; a class put on by local law enforcement agencies.

"The class last night was on auto theft and that gave us a lot of good tips on things to be alert to that might indicate a stolen car," said McMurray.

Beaumont police say since mid- September, crime rates have dropped.  There have been no reports of home burglaries in this neighborhood.

"It really is making a difference and I hope that it will encourage other people in our community to form their own neighborhood associations," said Getz.

The Dowlen West Neighborhood Association works with other crime watch groups to make it a city-wide effort to keep Beaumont safe.

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