The city of Hawk Point is in the early stages of setting up an organized neighborhood watch all over town.
The idea was brought up at a Board of Aldermen meeting and has been gaining a good amount of steam on Facebook as well.
Hawk Point Alderman Tom Bowling said that the idea has stemmed from people being “worried about what’s happening around town.”
Bowling spoke to a group of roughly twenty people – which included law enforcement, business owners and civilians – about how the Hawk Point they are living in isn’t the Hawk Point that many of them grew up in.
He went on to say that to get it back to the point where people feel safe leaving their doors unlocked, it would take an effort from the entire community.
Other than the Hawk Point police chief, there are only part-time officers, and according to one of those officers, Wayne Mueller, they can only do so much.
“As long as everyone is watching,” Bowling said. “We don’t want anyone out in their yard with a gun.”
Bowling and Mueller both noted the obvious potential danger in giving community members empowerment in serving the law, but both seemed assured that this neighborhood watch set-up wouldn’t lead to vigilante justice.
“This vigilante stuff isn’t the way to finish it,” Bowling said.
Mueller’s line to newcomers to the idea of the neighborhood watch for Hawk Point is, “I don’t want you out there with pitchforks and torches; I want you out there with cell phones and cameras.”
“We’re a part-time agency. What I need is eyes and ears,” Mueller said.
The goal is to set up a network and consolidated channel of information – such as videos, photos, any kind of description of a possible perpetrator – to flow to the proper authorities in order to eventually help those authorities catch offenders.
Mueller gave the example of noticing whether a perp is right or left handed, what kind of shoes they are wearing or what color their hair is if you can see it.
Bowling said that they are already seeing a little success.
“The biggest thing was to get everyone on the same page. The other day there were people posting pictures of people in their back yard going through their sheds,” Bowling said.
This allowed Lincoln County authorities a much better chance of identifying the offenders.
At a meeting on Monday, Oct. 28 at the Hawk Point VFW, the attendees recommended a board be established and it was recommended that Bowling act as president with Lisa Suddarth as vice president and Judi Maechling as the other board member.
The formation of the neighborhood watch is still in its early stages but to find out more, visit www.hawkpointmo.com.