Neighborhood watch putting up signs in Greene County

New sign for the nighborhood watch in the St. James area of Greene County.

GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. - For the first time in 20 years, residents of the Saint James area of Greene County are forming a neighborhood watch. They're putting up signs as a warning to criminals that they are on the lookout and paying attention.

"If I don't call the sheriff, my neighbor will."

Brenda Olafsen is sick of the crime in her neighborhood. She's among many who are banding together with Greene County deputies to keep a closer eye on things.

"If there's a car driving back and forth and back and forth in front of your house, which I've noticed from time to time, and I've tried to take some notes on that," Olafsen said. "Just look out for what is not ordinary, and be alert."

She grew up here, and like others, she's sad to see drugs and theft running down her community.

"My family was involved in a crash that was caused by a driver under the influence of drugs," she said. "So there have been so many of us that have been touched some way by this. And we would just like for it to stop."

Sheriff's deputies are also stepping up their efforts to help.

"We leave a flyer saying that, 'We're going to have a community watch meeting. Would you like to be involved?'" Lt. Mike Fincher of the Greene County Sheriff's Department said. "And you go to every house. Especially a house, if you think there's a drug dealer that lives there, or something like that, those are especially the houses that you want to hit."

Fincher has been personally training neighborhood watch members. Olafsen hopes the new watch will send a message.

"We're paying for maybe 18 signs, around the Saint James area," Olafsen said. "We're going with maybe a three to five mile radius form the middle of Saint James."

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