Clarksdale senior citizens proud of their role as Neighborhood Watch program expands

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CLARKSDALE, Miss. -- Senior citizens took to the streets of Clarksdale, Miss., to show their support for the Neighborhood Watch program.

More senior citizens in the Coahoma County city have signed up to be a part of the program because they're eager to take back their streets from criminals.

Thursday, members of an organization called "Seniors for a More Livable Community" proudly showed off a dozen new Neighborhood Watch signs they hoped will send a message that crime won't be tolerated.

As plastic came off new Neighborhood Watch signs,  a group of senior citizens let criminals know it's a new day in Clarksdale.

Claudia Gooden, co-chairman of SMLC, said don't think that just because they're up in years that they're not ready and willing to fight crime.

"First of all, we want a safe community, we want a clean community and a friendly community," said Gooden.

The AARP  is sponsoring the Neighborhood Watch program, which has already taken hold in 16 Clarksdale neighborhoods.

Mayor Bill Luckett hopes the program will keep growing.

"Neighborhood Watches are not new.  But it's the enthusiasm this group is bringing to bear here that's what is so exciting about this," said Luckett.

Gloria Tanner belongs to Neighborhood Watch and believes Clarksdale's senior citizens can be the eyes and ears of the police department.

Tanner said she takes note of anyone suspicious near her home or her neighbor's home.

"Strange people that we don't know in the neighborhood. And a lot of young people that's constantly walking back and forth like they trying to scope out what's going on. Who's at home and who's not at home," said Tanner.

Tanner said it's simply a matter of knowing your surroundings and being a little nosy sometimes.

Assistant Police Chief Robbie Linley said the Neighborhood Watch program has a worked time and time again.

"And there's been information that they've funneled to us that they see in these neighborhoods that's help us to go in there and clean up their streets and their neighborhoods," said Linley.

The group Seniors for a More Livable Community meets weekly with Clarksdale's mayor, the Clarksdale Police Department and the Coahoma County Sheriff's Department to find solutions to crime.


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