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Neighborhood Watch Group aims to make a difference in Martins Ferry

Neighborhood Watch Group aims to make a difference in Martins Ferry

Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland says a Jaycee Manor tenant asked to start a community watch group several months ago.

Since then, the idea took off.

Frank Smith says he's seen some strange things at Jaycee Manor.

“Someone told the kids to move on so they could do some illegal things up here and that's not right,” Smith said. “This is their home. This is where they have to live and play.”

A neighborhood watch group now meets every Wednesday, addressing a number of issues, including a movement to change kids’ perception of police.

“I was a patrolman for years, and you come patrolling through this parking lot and a lot of kids will just take off running because they see a police car. That still happens to this day,” Smith said.

Smith says he'd like to create a safer, all-inclusive environment.

“I'd like to see more kids out here for one thing, instead of what we got, because I know there's more than what we got here and just have a big old good time with them," Smith said.

“We want these kids to understand that we're not out to get them in trouble or whatever opinion they may have of us. We want that to change and build a positive relationship with them."

A cookout with the cops is taking place at the apartment complex from 6-9 p.m.

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