Beech Grove residents revitalize crime watch program

(WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) — The spotlight has been placed on the city of Beech Grove recently because of a spike in criminal activity.

Citizens are worried and gathered Thursday night for a crime watch meeting at the community center.

Those who came to the meeting are upset about how their city is being portrayed.

This was the first crime watch meeting in a few years in Beech Grove.

Residents are hoping that revitalizing the program and being proactive can make a difference in reducing crime.

Carol Donnelly has lived in beech grove her whole life.

She’s saddened by the way her city has been portrayed this last few weeks.

“This is a very important meeting because we are having so much trouble in the Grove,” she said.

She came to the crime watch meeting with hopes of helping revitalize the program and in turn help curb crime.

“The neighbors have to come together and get this together. Beech Grove is a lovely town. What’s been going on this last week isn’t even close to what Beech Grove is all about,” she said.

Edward McDonald is the new leader of the program.

He hopes it gives those like Donnelly a chance to make a difference.

“I think it’s important this week to have an initial meeting, collect as many names as possible, get people interested, talk about it, have their opinions voiced during this bad time for Beech Grove,” he said.

Those at the meeting talked about a need for more communication with police.

Beech Grove Police Captain Robert Mercuri said this is an essential partnership.

“Honestly the only way that crime can be curbed in any community is a partnership between citizens and law enforcement,” he said

He also believes that the crime spike this week is not a trend for Beech Grove.

“Everyone can be in the spotlight. It’s just our turn right now,” he said.

Donnelly agrees, but said there are larger issues like drug houses and vandalism that need to be addressed.

She hopes the heightened attention on crime this week can spur some action on those other ongoing crimes.

Public officials are taking some action as far as recent events.

The mayor said that Wal-Mart officials will be meeting with him next week to discuss the security issue at that store where the fight occurred.

He said he doesn’t know what the solution will be but sees that store as a drain on the city’s police resources at the very least.

He also mentioned that he supports the crime watch and that it’s always good for citizens to come together.

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