KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Violent crime is on the rise in Killeen, and while the police department continues to patrol the streets, some neighbors are taking matters into their own hands.
(Photo by Kathleen Serie)
Army veteran Ed Brown has lived in North Killeen between Westcliff and Lake Roads for about 12 years, and in that time, he says crime has gotten worse.
About two years ago, Brown said a man was killed less than a block from his home.
"Someone knocked on his door in the morning, and he came to the door and he was just shot," Brown said.
Even though Brown said he does not live in a bad part of town, he is still concerned.
"This sort of thing could increase in the neighborhood,” Brown said.
That’s why Brown has taken on the role of neighborhood watch group captain.
"Trying to stay alert at all times, and we want to be more visual in the neighborhood, in trying to get everyone involved,” Brown said.
He said the group is encouraging homeowners to put neighborhood watch signs in their yards, install porch lights, and even trim any shrubbery that’s close to front doors.
He said they want criminals to know they’re being watched.
"And if they're being watched, they will be caught,” Brown said.
Driving across the neighborhood, the watch signs are commonplace.
"We are involved and organized to prevent crime in this part of our neighborhood,” Watch group member Reginald Cole said.
Cole said awareness among neighbors is key.
"With these signs in our neighborhood, paying attention to what is going up and down the street, and if it's unfamiliar, they know to call the Killeen Police Department immediately,” Cole said.
Both Cole and Brown said they know their neighbors well, and hope the community watch group can expand to different parts of Killeen.
"If you know your neighbors, you know their habits, they learn your habits,” Brown said. “You know when they're home, you know when they're not at home because you communicate."