Residents Ramp Up Neighborhood Watch in Lyle

January 05, 2017 11:36 AM

(ABC 6 News) -- After a drive-by shooting two weeks ago, Lyle residents are pledging to be more watchful of the neighborhood.

Lyle, which has a population of around 550 people, is about 15 minutes south of Austin in Mower County. It also only has one police officer


Around 11 p.m. Christmas Eve, three bullets were fired into the Colonial Manor apartment complex, just blocks away from Lyle Community School. No one was injured and no suspects have been arrested.

A meeting was called Wednesday by members of Lyle Community Neighborhood Watch to re-organize the program. Several members of the community, including Mayor-Elect Gary Harrison, say they will be more active in reporting suspicious activity.

"They're out looking for small towns where there's less police force," Harrison said.

The Christmas Eve shooting is believed to be an isolated incident. But, it has reminded some residents how reliant they are on their one police officer, Chief Tom Herrick.

"I am, as you all know, the only one down here,” Herrick said at Wednesday’s meeting. “I can only be here so often so the more eyes and ears I have, the better."

Herrick says he relies on residents to report unusual behavior. He says in the case of the drive-by shooting, he’s being assisted by the Mower County Sheriff’s Office. Herrick says one good tip could break the case open.

"This one incident, don't let it define our city,” Herrick said. “We'll get it figured out."

The neighborhood watch members say their renewed mission is simple: build a reputation of cracking down on crime by keeping watch on what happens in their community. Councilmember Darwin Small says he is planning to put up more neighborhood watch signs around town and wants members to wear clothes with the program’s logo out in the community.

Harrison says one of their first efforts will be improving street lighting in the city.

"This is going to continue to happen until people like us, that have a community awareness, care about our community,” Harrison said. “Take eyes and ears to watch for it."


Megan Stewart

Copyright 2017 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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