BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Fatal gunfire in Bossier City is firing up some neighbors, who’ve formed an online community to get to know their real-world community better.
Christina Akins and April Phillips said crime in their normally quiet Shady Grove neighborhood is starting to make them feel uneasy.
A deadly shooting took place about a block from Akins’s home last week.
“I was confused, I didn’t know what was going on,” said Akins. “I thought it was gunshots, but I’d never heard gunshots before.”
The next day, Akins and other neighbors started the Shady Grove/Bellaire/Sun City Neighborhood Watch group on Facebook. They said the goal is to get to know who lives next door.
“This is not some vigilante justice kind of a thing,” said Akins. “We want to know our neighbors, we want to know who belongs here.”
“When you have a close community, you feel safer,” said Phillips. “You feel safer knowing everyone’s got your back and they’re all there for you. And you’re there for them.”
Right now, Phillips, a mother of two, said she doesn’t feel comfortable letting her kids play outside by themselves.
“Sometimes I don’t even want them to go across the street without me being with them, just to make sure they’re safe,” she said.
But other neighbors said they aren’t concerned about crime.
“Every now and then we’ll have people break into your car and stuff,” said Charles King. “As long as you lock your car up at night, then you’d be good to go. They always get the ones that are unlocked.”
In about a week, the Facebook group has gained more than 500 members. The neighbors say they plan to have another community watch meeting when they can find a venue large enough to hold all the people expected to attend.