GLENCOE, Ala. (WIAT) – After a string of break-ins earlier this spring, a grassroots group has launched a program helping neighbors step up and be better prepared to help in an emergency.
“That’s what Glencoe Neighbors is all about, neighbors helping neighbors,” chairperson Denise Cooey said.
Cooey said first responders are out patrolling the streets 24-7, but they can’t be everywhere at once. When she heard about the spring break-ins, she said she knew others had to be worried about their neighbors, too.
“People don’t help each other like they used to, and neighbors don’t know each other like they used to,” Cooey said. “Getting back to some good old basics is what I’d like to see happen.”
Community support rallied up quickly on Facebook after a smaller charter group of citizens was formed and created Glencoe Neighbors on the social media platform. Thursday night, the entire city was invited, and dozens showed up to learn what the group is all about.
“When we provide the proper training, they’ll know what to look for and how to report it to us,” Glencoe Police Chief Kenon McKenzie said.
Glencoe Neighbors has gained unwavering support from city and county officials. Police, fire and rescue agencies plan to train this neighborhood watch group on how to protect each other and provide the help needed.
“They can call us and it’s above their capability, they can call on us to help,” Glencoe Fire Chief Richard Johnson said. “It’s going to be a tremendous help to us, plus we’re going to give them an education that will help us out.”
Organizers worked to identify the leaders who can help them get trainings in individual neighborhoods as the effort expand. David Ford attended the meeting because he sees a need.
“If more and more people would get together and unite and fight crime and help neighborhoods to be better, safer places, we would be a much better place,” Ford said. “People want to help, this is an opportunity to learn how to help and then to help.”
It’s an effort making Glencoe Neighbors ready to serve.
“We may start off small, but we’re hoping to saturate the Glencoe area so that we as a city stand together and are prepared,” Cooey said.
If you missed Thursday night’s event, it’s not too late to get involved. You can find the community organizers in the Facebook group Glencoe Neighbors.
Email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Text the organizers at 256-490-8096.