At a recent meeting of the newly-formed Paden City Neighborhood Watch, those in attendance were asked what concerns they had that they felt were not being properly addressed. The answers ranged from the use of all-terrain vehicles within city limits to prescription pills, and everything in between.
According to Barb Hopkins, the neighborhood watch group was created to address these concerns, no matter how small or large they may be.
"I think our eyes are open to the problems we have here and the surrounding towns, and we want to get ahead of that," she said.
Paden City Police Chief Mike Kelly speaks at an organizational meeting for a Paden City Neighborhood Watch group.
Working with city and county law enforcement officials, as well as municipal government representatives, the group met several times to organize and learn about what procedures would need to be taken to form a larger committee.
Following those meetings, a large meeting was held Nov. 1, which Hopkins called "a grand slam". She said in addition to more than 30 community members, law enforcement and government officials from the region attended to give their ideas and input. Group member Mike Turner gave a presentation on the five steps of forming a neighborhood watch, which Hopkins said was intended to further organize those in attendance.
"We are working on finding people who want to be community captains, who will then learn how to report a crime or suspicious activity," she said.
Though Paden City is a quiet community, Hopkins said issues such as breaking and entering, theft, threatening children, vicious dogs, and upkeep of property were high on the list on community concerns. She stressed that the group, while keeping a watchful eye, does not exist to stop those issues by itself.
"We're not a vigilante group," she said. "We are just a community and neighbors who want to be on guard and be aware of what is going on in our area."
The group hopes to meet monthly, with the next meeting set for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 at the Fellowship Hall at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Paden City. Hopkins said more team and block captains are needed, and anyone is invited to attend.