Town tackles holiday crime with the help of new neighborhood watch
"The citizens of the town have to want it," said Marmet resident Wynter Winnell.
In that town, they do. When it comes to crime over the holidays, there's usually a spike.
This year, though, things were different.
"Overall crime has been down this year. We were very fortunate. We credit that to increased patrol presence. Our traffic division and our bike patrol have been very visible this year," said Lt. Steve Cooper of the Charleston Police Department.
The Capitol City's statistics mirror that of other towns in the region.
Over the weekend, though, a suspect took 200 dollars from an attendant at this gas station in eastern Kanawha County.
"That's all we've had this holiday season. Normally there's a spike in crime," said Chuck Buttrick of Marmet.
Many credit the lower crime rates to a new neighborhood watch.
It's organized mainly over Facebook, and Chuck Buttrick is a regular contributor to the page. Buttrick isn't just a concerned citizen, he's also the town's detective.
"With our community and the Facebook web page that we have, and the community watch, I think it's made a big difference," said Buttrick.
"I think it gives us all a way to connect with each other without making fifteen different telephone calls," said Winnell, referring to the Facebook page.
Winnell is also a part of the crime watch. She says she owes this low holiday crime not only to the neighborhood watch, but also to the town's police.
She said, "I think they have really stepped up, and Buttrick has come to the meetings. He's willing to help us with whatever we need."
Buttrick has one rule of thumb to keep everyone in our region safe in 2013. He said, "If it's important enough to put of Facebook, then call 911 and let us know about it."
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