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Pops Barnes takes steps to protect his district with neighborhood watch groups

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Burglaries and messy lawns are two things a Columbus city councilor wants to do away with in his district, and he's taking steps to make sure that happens.

District 1 Councilman Jerry 'Pops' Barnes believes in order to have a safe neighborhood, community support is required, and he asking for everyone in his district to become involved.

Every morning, Barnes walks one street at a time in his district, making sure things are decent and in order and he's urging others to do the same.

"The police can't be everywhere. The neighbors really have to be the eyes and ears of the police," said Barnes.

Because of reports of code violations and some criminal activity, Barnes says residents and neighbors coming together is the answer.

"There's been some burglaries in District 1. That's what really concerns me is the fact that I'm very sensitive to my constitutes feeling safe," said Barnes.

Barnes has organized a community meeting with expert officers of the Columbus Police department and residents in his district on how to organize a neighborhood watch group.

"They really instruct you on securing your home, the things you need to look for. Because these are things they are trained as police officers to do. How to secure your home and then how to organize a neighborhood watch," said Barnes.

Barnes says there are already several watch groups in his district which cover some parts of Macon Road, but he wants every street and house protected.

"It really helps to maintain order as far as being vigilant for any of the perpetrator out there," Barnes added.

Barnes says anyone interested in learning more on protecting your neighborhood is invited to the meeting on Tuesday, July 21 at 6 p.m. in the community room of the Citizen Service Center.

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