Neighborhood Watch Groups Unite After St. Albans Shooting

By: Rahel Solomon Email
By: Rahel Solomon Email

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Neighbors from all nine of St. Albans wards met Tuesday to continue their never ending fight against crime.

“They're standing up, they're letting them know that they're being watched, they’re taking charge,” said neighborhood watch coordinator Shelly Ellis.

Ellis said their efforts are working in reducing crime.

“The drug busts that are going down, that's just one thing that we're helping contribute to, and we're just an extra set of eyes and ears,” Ellis added.

“I have seen a decrease since we've started these,” Councilwoman Cheryl Thomas said.

Tuesday night was the first time all nine wards met. They gathered at St. Albans High School for the neighborhood watch meeting.

Neighborhood watch members said it's important all the wards meet because there's strength in numbers when it comes to reducing crime.

“We need to be more vocal, we need to be united, we need to get to know our neighbors and see what they're doing,” Thomas said.

City leaders and members of the police and fire department were also on hand at the meeting -- letting neighbors know they're not in the fight alone.

Tuesday morning, police said Terrance Blanks shot Jerome James III after arguing over a stolen gun. The shooting happened at an apartment along Kanawha Court in St. Albans. James was taken to CAMC General. Blanks was arrested shortly after the incident.

Ellis said Tuesday’s meeting was already scheduled before the shooting, but incidents like the shooting underline the importance of the neighborhood watch groups.

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