BELL COUNTY (October 2, 2012) --- Law enforcement officers visited neighborhoods all over Bell County Tuesday in an effort to keep neighborhood watch programs strong in the fight against crime and drugs on local streets.
The event marked the 29th Annual National Night Out Crime and Drug Prevention Event.
Killeen Police focused on heightening crime and drug awareness, the generation of support for anti-crime efforts, and support for community and police partnerships.
The Belton Police Department sponsored a "Best Block Party," contest and recognized the most creative block party that focused on crime prevention.
In the city of Temple there were almost thirty neighborhood watch event parties held throughout the city.
Killeen resident Kathy Gilmore helped plan the neighborhood watch party for people who live in The Willows.
Gilmore said last year almost 70 people made it out to the event.
"It prevents a lot of crime I think it makes people feel safer and makes their lives a whole lot nicer," Gilmore said.
In fact, one national survey put out by a private social network for neighborhoods called Nextdoor suggest Gilmore may be right.
"Our survey found that over two-thirds of homeowners feel safer when they know their neighbors and three-fourths of people polled said they felt that their neighborhood would be safer if they communicated more with their neighbors," Nextdoor Vice President of Communications Dabney Lawless said.
The survey found that one in three people they surveyed also don't know their neighbors. Gilmore said she knows pretty much everyone in her neighborhood, so it's easy to spot something out of the ordinary.
"Someone's always looking out and we have quite a few women who have lost their husbands so we make sure we look out for them also, and we have a really great group of people who live in this neighborhood and take care of each other," Gilmore said.