Kernersville residents respond to rise in crime with National Night Out

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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- Kernersville residents, like many others across the country, have fallen victim to a rise in crime in 2017. But, instead of letting the increase tear them apart, they’re responding by getting together.

“When we grew up, we knew our neighbors,” said Naomi Harry, president of the Wyndfall Homeowners Association. “But, now we’re in a time when we don’t even know who our next-door neighbors are.”

From January to June of 2017, Kernersville police report they’ve investigated 2,063 crimes. That’s compared to 1,897 crimes in the same time period in 2016 and 1,626 in that time period in 2015.

“Oh, we’ve had cars vandalized not too long ago,” Harry said.

As of June 30, 2017, the department responded to 158 thefts from motor vehicles in 2017, compared to 89 in that time period in 2016.

“When we get people that we don’t know our ears perk up,” Harry said.

Harry’s community is unique, celebrating 20 years as a neighborhood on Tuesday. But, they’re also celebrating something else: National Night Out.

Last year, only two Kernersville neighborhoods took part in National Night Out. But this year, there are 12 neighborhoods and apartment complexes participating.

“It’s getting together and knowing your neighborhood,” Harry said.

National Night Out is “an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances,” by definition, according to their website.

For White’s neighborhood, it allows them to further relationships which have already been built between them and the Kernersville Police Department.

“They keep an eye on us, we keep an eye out for them, because they can’t do all this without us,” Harry said.

To participate in National Night Out, you can visit their website. Local law enforcement agencies can also help your neighborhood get involved.

“It takes a community to do it; whether it be the people, the police, whatever,” Harry said. “You know, you need that cohesiveness and that working together.”