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Watch groups make impact

In some ways it is a throwback to a simpler time, an era when neighbors looked out for neighbors.

Neighborhood watch programs — and just genuine concern for the overall community — were once staples in small-town America. But somewhere along the way, it seems that this focus was lost in many communities and this level of concern was viewed as being intrusive when someone wanted to get involved and get to know their neighbors.

A group of Rome Township residents are turning back the clock by organizing the Neighborhood Crime Watch, an effort that has grown to include about 90 percent of the 175 homes in their Proctorville neighborhood.

The group has just tried to create a network for information sharing; an emergency contact system and just a general close-knit approach that will help keep the homeowners in touch and looking out for each other.

We applaud this effort and would like to commend the organizers for leading by example and showing that caring and having compassion for your neighbors isn’t a thing of the past.

Couple this with the recent efforts of the Neighbors Plus group in Ironton that has worked to make some Ironton neighborhoods more family friendly, and we may be seeing a positive trend.

Hopefully, this is something that will become contagious and spread across Lawrence County, infiltrating all of our neighborhoods.

While it is easy to say that law enforcement needs to do more to fight crime and make our communities safe, the reality is that no agency will ever have the resources needed to police every neighborhood in the county 24 hours a day.

As residents, we must take ownership and responsibility by helping each other and keeping our eyes open to what goes on in our neighborhoods.

Now is perfect time that we all refocus on watching out for our communities and our neighbors.