Residents keep a watch on Canoe

Published 7:01 am Monday, August 6, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Area residents Sharon Smith and Kevin McKinley will begin working together to help keep the streets of the Canoe and Robinsonville areas safe through organizing a neighborhood watch program.
Smith said she and McKinley got tired of the different types of criminal activities that were occurring in the Canoe and Robinsonville areas and decided to do something about it.
"We've had a lot of crime and mischief in our community out there and we are tired of it," she said. "So we wanted to form a neighborhood crime watch."
Smith said she and McKinley saw each other at a service station one morning, started discussing the amount of crime in their areas and decided a neighborhood watch would be perfect for their communities.
"Kevin and I were talking one morning at a gas station and we decided to start a neighborhood watch," she said.
Smith said the purpose of the organization will be to let community members become involved with keeping the area a safe place to live.
"We plan on helping the neighborhood with crime," Smith said. "We have a lot of elderly people in our community. We want to get the community together to let them be aware of the problems in our area."
The first meeting will be held Aug. 7. The organization will discuss what is occurring in the community during that first gathering.
"The first meeting is to let people be aware of what's going on in the community and to discuss what we can do to keep our neighborhood and homes safe," Smith said.
Smith said there is not much training process for the organization but that McKinley has some criminal law education and that the Escambia County Sheriff's Office will also be involved in keeping the community safe.
"Kevin McKinley is a lawyer and has some criminal law background," Smith said. "They would like someone at the sheriff's department to be a liaison for the neighborhood watch. We have someone we are trying to get to come from the sheriff's department to some of our meetings to give us pointers on how to keep safe. We are also going to eventually get neighborhood watch signs up around the community."
The meeting on Aug. 7 will be held at 7 p.m. at the Canoe Civic Center.

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