Local residents use social media to tackle crime

COLUMBUS Ga. — Thousands of people have turned to neighborhood watch groups to voice their concerns and to keep people updated on the crimes that are happening in their neighborhoods.

Eric Woodson is the creator of two community watch groups on Facebook “The Watch” and “The Neighborhood Watchers”. Eric says he felt the need to start the groups when he witnessed so much crime going on in his community.

“My neighbors were having their homes broken into…I said enough was enough and thought how citizens could protect our neighborhoods and our homes,” says Eric.

The Neighborhood Watchers is one of the biggest community groups on Facebook, with over 22,000 members. The administrators of the group listen to police scanners and keep the members of the group updated on crime as it happens.

Seth Brown the Crime Prevention Director says his position has become a liaison between the Mayor’s office and citizens.

“What I do is pull the pieces together so that we can make change, whether it be with public services, building codes, park and rec or whatever the case may be. So I kind of connect the dots as I always say,” says Seth.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says she supports the groups and responds to members who have questions for her. The Mayor told News 3 that she never said there was no crime in our area.

She says we’ve had a marked decrease in part 1 crimes from 15,500 to 12,300 part 1 crimes a year. The Mayor made it clear that she’s working very closely with the chief of police and other law enforcement in order to decrease the amount of crimes that happen in our area.

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