TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - With fears about the loss of police protection after 75 police officers were laid off, many concerned citizens are asking the question: What can we do to help protect our neighborhoods?
Tamra Weills is one of them. She lives just down the street from where Richard Soria was gunned down Sunday afternoon. She says that shooting and other crimes are taking over her neighborhood.
"We've had it and we're not going to take anymore. That's basically how I'm feeling," Weills says. "I don't want to feel like a prisoner."
Tamara's sister feels the same. "Our kids can't even play in the yard anymore."
These are words that energize Michael Dearth. He is the citywide chair of the Toledo Neighborhood Blockwatch.
"We've been very effective locally," Dearth says.
So effective, Toledo's Blockwatch Program has been named the best program of its kind in the country by the National Sheriff's Association.
"It's my job to start new Blockwatches," Dearth says, "showing people how to organize their group, how to get the clout they're looking for, and how to get their piece of the pie in terms of city services."
North Toledo mother of four Aspacia Tears says neighbors watching out for neighbors is exactly what should happen.
"That would help us a lot if we all come together and, you know, fix the matters and fix up the neighborhood."
To get your Blockwatch organized, click on the Big Red Box on the home page. Fill out a simple form and that will be sent to Michael Dearth.