Wichita Falls neighborhood takes getting to know your neighbor to the next level

Wichita Falls neighborhood takes getting to know your neighbor to the next level

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - One Wichita Falls neighborhood is taking "getting to know your neighbor" to the next level to have a better and safer community, and this could not have come at a better time.

With several recent high profile crimes and shootings in Wichita Falls, it is normal for many people to be afraid.
However, police say residents should not be alarmed, but instead be proactive.

Sergeant Harold McClure said the best way to protect your home and family is to know who lives around you, and that's exactly what this Wichita Falls neighborhood is doing, with social media, a website and a good old fashioned block party.
Stephanie Jones lives in this neighborhood and is helping organize the event.

She said she knows things can go wrong, and adds neighbor communication is key when those situations occur.
To increase communication, her neighborhood started a private Facebook group just for their residents.

"It's just nice to have everybody around you watching out so we can all be on the lookout for each other," said Jones.
Jones said besides a private Facebook group her community also uses the website next door.
Sergeant McClure sat Nextdoor is a neighborhood watch program that can play a big role in home safety by allowing neighbors to keep in touch online. There is even an app you can download for easy access.
In Wichita Falls about 100 Nextdoor's are set up and have 3,500 members total.

Police can also communicate with those who are on the site.
However, in two weeks Jones' neighborhood is also getting to know each other like communities use to do before Facebook and websites, they are throwing a block party.
Jones said this a great way to bring all the families together
"Getting to know each other. There's so many kids in the neighborhood and they're always running around, and honestly sometimes I don't know who their parent is. So it'll be kind of nice to get to know the faces with the kid and all get together and have a good time," said Jones.
Jones has lived in her neighborhood for nine years, and even though she said it is a safe place to call home, with recent high crime and murders in Wichita Falls she said it is good to reassure each other the community has each other's back.
With those recent murders have happened in the last few months, it is easy to think these incidents mean crime is on the rise in Wichita Falls.

However Sgt. McClure said that's not the case.
This year Wichita Falls has seen eight murders. Three of them are open cases.
In 2015 there was one murder in the Falls, but if you look back three years before that, in 2014 and 2013, seven murders took place, and in 20-12 there were six.
Sgt. McClure said there is only two open cases in 2013. Prior to that, there is not a case without an arrest or referred to grand jury since 2009.

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