Neighborhood watch groups say National Night Out strengthens communities

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Neighborhood watch groups in Greensboro say National Night Out helps strengthen the community.

“People are not as neighborly as they used to be, they’re not as friendly, you may or may not know your next door neighbor,” said Janice Whitted, president of the Dudley Heights Neighborhood Association.

That’s why Whitted said the neighborhood watch in her Greensboro neighborhood is so important — and it’s working.

“We’ve had less break-ins. Usually when we get our crime report from the police there are very few crimes that are committed,” Whitted explained.

The Dudley Heights neighborhood is one of more than 120 Greensboro communities gathering Tuesday for National Night Out.

“You may not see your neighbor one day, you may see them three months down the line, but National Night Out is an opportunity for everybody to come together,” said Kimberly Hope, property manager at JT Hairston Apartments.

It’s also a chance for neighbors to get to know the police officers who are keeping them safe.

“These groups make our jobs tremendously easier because they are willing to call and we know where the problems are,” said Officer Douglas Campbell with the Greensboro Police Department.

The National Night Out get-togethers are also an opportunity to send a message to criminals.

Just the community coming together to say you know we take a stand against crime in our community we want to build a better partnership with not just police but all the other local agencies,” says Hope.

When citizens are comfortable calling the police, Whitted said it creates a level of trust.

“We’ve formed this great bond … I think it’s important that the police and citizens have a bond, one of friendship and one that they can respect,” she said.

National Night Out happens all over the country. Some groups in the Triad have celebrated for decades. Greensboro Police said it’s powerful when neighbors come together.

“It helps drive down crime. If you have neighbors who know each other, who are very comfortable calling police, that is very helpful in addressing crime,” said Officer Campbell

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