Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Mesquite Reporter
Neighbors in Mesquite are coming together to cut crime through neighborhood watch programs.
Mesquite residents are banding together in hopes that an extra set of eyes can help prevent crime.
Mesquite 20/20 recruits volunteers to tackle city issues ranging from infrastructure to economic development to building better roads. It challenges a new problem each month.
"Every community has to have active citizenry to move forward, and we need a lot more average citizens involved in ... building their neighborhoods and helping to fix problems," said Bruce Archer, pastor and businessman.
This month, Mesquite 20/20's eyes are on preventing crime and promoting public safety
"No matter how many police you have, police cannot be everywhere all the time, so we have to have active citizens in each neighborhood and on each street watching what's going on, Archer said.
The Creek Crossing Crime Watch group is sharing its strategies after successfully reducing crime in the neighborhood. The organization said it worked with other crime watch groups in Mesquite and the Citizen Police to reduce crime by 21 percent last year.
"If the neighbors are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood, then it really helps us, you know, take control of the crime in our area," said Sonja Canida with the Creek Crossing Crime Watch. "We're really looking forward to tying in with the Mesquite 20/20 group and seeing how our crime watch group can get involved from a safety and crime prevention standpoint."
Mesquite 20/20 organizers say they know they still have a long way to go, whether it's fighting crime or lobbying for better roads and economic development.
"We've got to have more people involved, and we've got to attract more people to come here and raise their families and pay taxes and build businesses," Archer said.
A meeting on public safety and crime prevention will be held Monday at the Poteet High School Auditorium.