Neighborhood watchers making a difference on the streets and in the court rooms

Northend Coalition of Neighborhoods

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Nancy Sloane and Myrna Sossner are not your typical neighborhood watchers.

The longtime residents of West Palm Beach, victims of a crime themselves, joined NCON, Northend Coalition of Neighborhoods, an organization that works to better the quality of life in neighborhoods plagued by crime.

Sossner and Sloan, along with other members of NCON, help keep criminals off the streets by attending first appearances of suspects charged with violent crimes and asking the judge to make it nearly impossible for them to get out.

"We can only say to the judge, 'please give them as high a bond as you can to keep them off the streets,' until they can go to court and the court can decide whether they were guilty of what they've been charged with or not,” said Sossner.

Several recent shootings have the 80-year-olds worried. Tyler Caldwell was shot and killed several blocks from their apartment on Broadway Avenue last Monday night. Three more people were shot dead in West Palm Beach over the weekend.

Sossner said, "We don't want to relax on it, because they are not relaxing."

It’s not just residents on the north end of West Palm Beach going to court. Gregg Weiss has been the south end court watch coordinator for the past five years.

Weiss said, ”Right now, it's probably once or twice a month that we'll get called out and ask to appear. I believe it does make a difference."

Matt Chambers, who has lived on the north end of West Palm Beach for more than two years, is planning an anti-crime rally with hopes of getting more security in the area.

“One of the things we keep hearing about, is that there’s not enough funding to fund more police, there’s not enough funding to put security cameras in and we’re hearing about special operations and all these great things that are going on and the crimes continues and now with the death or murder of one of our neighbors, it’s time to take action,” said Chambers.

The march is planned for early April.

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