Neighbors in Forest Park Heights rally to renew neighborhood watch effort

Police and Forest Park Heights neighbors team up

BOYBTON BEACH, Fla. - Even though police in Boynton Beach say that the Forest Park Heights neighborhood hasn't seen a bump in crime, neighbors there say things can be better. That they should be better.

Jessica Dalton's landlord installed motion detectors in her driveway and a gate on their air conditioner.

"We've been here about six weeks and we've already been warned that some homeless guy was peeing on our carport here," said Dalton.

Edna DiManche says her car was broken into, her brother's valuable shoes, stolen.

"Seeing that happen, I'm kind of scared to come out late," she said.

Sadly, police say crimes like that aren't out of the ordinary in most Florida neighborhoods. 

But the neighbors in the 1,100 homes between Woolbright Rd. and Boynton Beach Blvd., east of I-95, say they don't want to be normal.

"The typical amount of crime that's acceptable to me is none," said Chris Poulin, the president of the Forest Park Heights Neighborhood Association.

Dozens met tonight with police to map out a neighborhood watch plan.

"We are as strong as the community will let us be," said Boynton Beach Police Office Rita Swan. If we have a tight-knit community, we are going to be a very strong agency."

On Saturday, volunteers will fan out to gather names, car information and email addresses. 

121 crimes were reported in their area in May.

Which could have been prevented if more were paying attention to what, or who, doesn't belong?

"We live in a world where it's easy to turn on the computer, but we don't even talk to our neighbors," said Poulin.  "It's just about being there for our neighbor."

Now, the challenge: encouraging everyone who sees something strange to be in the habit of saying something.

"Our little group here seems to have their eyes on everything," said Dalton. "But the street over, the street down, we don't know. We don't know where it's coming from, so if everybody were to keep their out, yeah, I'd feel a lot better."

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