Highland Park neighborhood launches crime watch network

Highland Park neighborhood launches crime watch network

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A Montgomery neighborhood is revamping their neighborhood association and hoping to make a difference.

Residents of Highland Park who are fed up with crime have started their own radio communication system. They now provide real-time radio updates to neighbors and to police about the location of criminal suspects who ARE on the run.

Lisa Busler has called Highland Park home for 17 years.

"I bought this house with the intention of always living here," said Busler.

Over time she says things have changed in this neighborhood. Some homes along her street and around the neighborhood have been left vacant and boarded up, creating even bigger issues.

"We have definitely seen a jump in the crime rate and I don't know what to necessarily point the finger at," said Busler.

While some have suggested moving as the solution, Busler says that is not an option.

"We can't afford to move. We can't afford to leave. Therefore, we can't afford to give up," she said.

Using two-way radios purchased by a neighbor, Busler and others are taking action.

"We want to try to institute change as well as vigilance," Busler said.

They've formed their own crime watch network. When one person sees or hears something suspicious their radio system allows for a neighbor-to-neighbor communication chain. The idea is to help police locate suspects who cut through yards and alleys or hide in abandoned houses.

"Sure enough, a couple of times someone on a landline talking to police dispatch was able to give the patrol car updated information," said Busler.

While these efforts are still new Busler is optimistic.

"There are people who care about this neighborhood," said Busler.

Thursday at 6 p.m. the Highland Park Neighborhood Association will hold a meeting at Love Center Full Gospel Baptist Church. Even if you are not a homeowner, but live in the area you are encouraged to come.

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