KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Picking up the trash to rid the community of a growing problem.
"We're trying to clean this town up so the crime ridden people will leave our town alone," Ruth Meadows, who is helping clean the streets said.
Dozens of neighbors hit the streets of Marmet on Saturday on a mission to do more than just grab litter.
“We've had several home invasions, we've had a lot of burglaries, a lot of robberies and we intend to put a stop to that," Barbara Miller, organizer of the city-wide clean up said.
Aiming to improve safety by straightening up the streets and sending a strong message that drugs and violence are not welcome here.
"We do still take pride in our community -- that the more we get out and involved, the larger our group gets, we can really do things," Meadows said.
"If you have empty buildings or you have an area that looks like people don't care, it is very easy for the criminal element to ooze in," Miller said.
Deputies say that having a place where people want to live is the key to reducing neighborhood crime.
"When you clean a town up people see that you take pride in it -- and that you're not lazy and that you are watching and you and you are aware of things around you -- and criminals don't want you to be aware," Meadows said.
Taking action, standing strong and providing visual signs of neighbors taking control to give everyone some much needed peace of mind.