Lake Park neighborhood works to rekindle watch program

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Security was topic as Lake Park Subdivision residents met at the Fisher Ferry Volunteer Fire Department on Goodrum Road Tuesday for their second neighborhood watch meeting, restarting a program that had been dormant for several years.

“We restarted the program in July,” said Meg Falls, who with her husband Jake chaired the meeting. “We had just moved into the area with our 1-year-old, and Jake works for the government. I didn’t know anybody, and I thought this would be a way to let everyone get to know each other and feel safer.”

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She said 73 residents have signed up to participate in the watch program, and 50 attended the inaugural meeting in July. About 20 attended Tuesday night.

“We have school back in session and there are other things going on now that weren’t going on in July,” she said.

Two speakers addressed the group.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace discussed the problems deputies have controlling reckless driving and speeding on county roads, adding that with the exception of Lowndes County, sheriff’s offices in Mississippi are prohibited from operating radar to control speeding. He said Lowndes County was able to get a special bill passed in the Legislature to allow deputies to have radar.

He recommended the residents call their state representatives if they wanted the sheriff’s office to have radar.

Pace also urged people to call 911 to report problems in their neighborhood.

“For anything from a dog barking to a plane crash, call 911,” he said, explaining that if someone calls the sheriff’s office or police department, the call will be transferred to a 911 dispatcher, and lengthens the amount of time before officers can respond.

He also told residents to be aware of what is going on in their neighborhood, and to call whenever they see something out of place, like a strange vehicle or person in the area.

“Don’t be afraid to call,” he said. “I’d rather we respond to a call that is nothing at all, then to have something happen and you not call.”

James Mason with Berkley Security discussed the importance of having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home and talked about security systems and the best way to use cameras on the property. He also praised the Vicksburg Police Department and the sheriff’s office for their response times to calls, saying based in his experience working in Mississippi and Louisiana, they have the fastest response times in the state.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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