St. Albans is named for a Protestant martyr and it's full of Baptist churches and other churches that believe in the "priesthood of all believers" but in matters of civic life we behave more like Catholics waiting for the pope to give us his imprimatur to do something that needs to be done.
In St. Albans, there is no pope who can tell you whether or not to start a Neighborhood Watch. The mayor can't give you permission, your city councilman and the chief of police can't stop you.
You don't need the blessing of the newly-formed Neighborhood Watch Advisory Council.
If your neighborhood doesn't have a Neighborhood Watch and nobody is lifting a finger to get one started, maybe you should do it.
There are people who will help you. Really.
Just a word about that newly-formed Neighborhood Watch Advisory Council: I haven't published the names of the 13 people who gathered for our first meeting because some of them aren't used to the inexplicable chorus of criticism that greets anyone who tries to do anything positive in a small town. I have the sign-in sheet in front of me and I count 13 people. Police Chief Matthews and the other officers who were there know that criticism goes with the paycheck - and boy are they used to it. The four city council members who were there know that criticism goes with the job and they can take it, too. If you include me, at least 6 of the people on the sign-in sheet are private citizens who spend their own time and, yes, their own money to make their neighborhoods safer. These people don't deserve to be attacked just because they came out of their offices or homes on a Friday afternoon to find out how they can help out citywide so I've decided not to publish the names of these private citizens. Their names will leak out soon enough and they'll find out that the old saying really is true: no good deed goes unpunished.
Like I said, you don't need anyone's permission to start a Neighborhood Watch but if you want some help starting one, call me and you'll get the help you need.
And if you live in the city limits of St. Albans, WV, join "Public Group For St. Albans WV Neighborhood Watch."
Higginbotham At Large reads all submitted comments but only publishes comments from clearly identified submitters. No Ring of Gyges for you.
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