Neighborhood Watch members looking for revival

PARKERSBURG – Eight people hoping to revitalize the Neighborhood Watch program in the city met Thursday at the Parkersburg Municipal Building for what they called a reorganization meeting.

Betty Rollins, president of Parkersburg Neighborhood Watch, said the program used to be much stronger but over time and especially in the past year, members have died and others just quit coming to the group’s meetings.

Neighborhood Watch groups are devoted to preventing and reporting crimes in their communities.

During a reorganizational meeting Thursday, watch members met with the new liaison with the Parkersburg Police Department, Patrolman T.R. Worstell.

Worstell said he hopes to work with the core group to get the program back in operation.

“I am starting from the very beginning with this,” he said. “We need to get in contact with those who were part and start working to get more people involved and need to get them to the meetings so we can get familiar with each other.”

Rollins said those who showed up for the meetings represented a few areas of the city: Avery Street between 32nd and 34th streets, the 41st Street area, south Parkersburg and Lynn Street between Seventh and 13th streets.

Rollins said Neighborhood Watch groups were organized for Washington Avenue, Market Street, the Spring, Covert and Beaver streets area, Julia-Ann Square Historic District, Elm Street and Lakeview Drive.

“We know they had a watch but we don’t know who their members are or if they are still organized,” she said. “We need them to come out for meetings.”

Cindy Ware, a group member who also works at the police substation on 13th Street, said the group is supposed to meet four times a year, the first Thursday of January, April, July and October.

However, in the past few years members have not been able to have their meetings, due to weather or not being able to get into the city building for their meeting, they said.

Ware said the next meeting will be announced and then they hope to resume their four meeting schedule or possibly increase the number of meetings.

Rollins said there was a list of watch captains, but that list has been lost and other lists of those involved are out of date.

Anyone who knows the contact information about the groups is asked to call Rollins at 304-422-5372 or Ware at 304-424-7182 or the 13th Street police substation at 304-424-0683.