A Johnson County community is learning what they can do to make their neighborhoods safer by starting a neighborhood watch program. The Van Lear community along with operation unite and other law enforcement officials came together to discuss how the program will work.
People in the Van Lear community say they are extremely concerned about the drug problem in the area. They feel like it's leading to other problems and they want it to stop.
Lon Castle is worried about his home in Van Lear. He says the community is dealing with a huge problem.
"drugs," said Castle. "It all backs up to drugs."
He says this has been an issue for a long time.
"The drug dealers and the thieves, they've got people intimidated. They're afraid to step up, but we're going to try to get something done," Castle said.
So the community is starting a neighborhood united program with the help of local law enforcement and Operation UNITE.
"We're trying to do everything we can do to get this community back under control and make it make it a good safe place for their children to be raised," said Paul Hays of Operation UNITE.
"The community is worried about the crime in the area so they're wanting to do something as a community to assist us in combating the crime," said Trooper Shaun Little of the Kentucky State Police.
Their job is to observe their surroundings and report any suspicious activity; the more detailed of a description, the better. Officials say it is important for them not to get involved beyond that.
"They are not to initiate any contact with any of the people, just to get out and observe what they think might be a crime," said Little.
Trooper Little says neighborhood programs like this are usually very successful if the people are persistent.
"It's time for people to stand up and take a stand," Castle explained.
And some say this meeting about the program is the first step in the right direction. Officials say it is important to publicize the neighborhood united programs with things like car stickers or magnets for houses.
The Van Lear community will be working to figure out how they will let others know about the new program.