Sheriff Shawn Mobley, deputies, District Attorney Jim Bullock and staff, members of the North La Junta Community met Monday evening for the purpose of establishing neighborhood watches in the North La Junta community.

Sheriff Shawn Mobley addressed the citizens of North La Junta Monday night in a meeting to establish a North La Junta Neighborhood Watch organization. “We are experiencing a rise in property crimes all over Colorado - the state, the country - there is a spike in crime. The first step in crime prevention ia being a good neighbor. Introduce yourself. Know who is living a couple of houses down. Know everybody in your neighborhood. Be part of the community.” He went on to say, “We can’t be everywhere at once - know what’s going on in your neighborhood.”

He congratulated North La Junta on preparedness, as demonstrated in times of flooding. He applauded the work of Bud Quick, which drew a round of applause for Quick. What do we need to prepare for? Fire, blizzards, tornados, flooding - and now property crimes. “Training is needed,” said Mobley. “We need people willing to take part. The time commitment is small. We need training in basic community safety and preparedness. We need to take care of ourselves and build a stronger community.”

The steps are as follows: 1. Recruiting and organizing. With even just 10 people, we can be successful; 2. Liaison with law enforcement, Officer Kirkland and Undersheriff Wallace; 3. Develop an action plan; 4. Training is crucial to success - in warmer weather, we can have it outdoors; 5. Kick-off event with a basic infrastructure of people. Mobley suggested an old-fashioned calling tree be established. It is easy, cheap, and efficient. He praised block parties as a good way to get acquainted.

The people were quick to react. The following people volunteered as committee members for the North La Junta Neighborhood Watch: William Campbell, Carolyn Ehrlich, Rhonda Karney, Kelly Clodfelter, Sam Roos, Melissa Hannell, and Greta Rafferty. Jody Bracy volunteered to be Area Coordinator; Mobley said, “Good, that’s just what I was thinking.”

The office of the District Attorney was represented by District Attorney Jim Bullock and two assistants. Asst. District Attorney William Culver spoke to the group at the end of the meeting. He told the people how happy they were to see the enthusiasm and good turnout for the meeting. He also congratulated the community spirit, especially their actions in protecting themselves during flooding incidents.

The group will meet next at 6 p.m. on March 12 in the North La Junta Community Building. Bracy has already created a North La Junta Neighborhood Watch page on Facebook. The committee will meet with Mobley during the next two weeks.