Avon Woods neighbors met April 18 to begin organizing our official Neighborhood Watch.

Neighborhood Watch Meeting 2

Organizing to ensure a safe, secure Avon Woods

Thursday, April 18, once again about 50 Avon Woods neighbors gathered to begin organizing an official Neighborhood Watch. Coordinated by Avon Woods resident Mary K. Allen, the meeting at White Station Elementary involved a quick recap of our first Neighborhood Watch meeting in March, a look at results from the survey conducted by the Memphis Police Department (MPD) Neighborhood Watch program, and a call for volunteers to serve as Block Captains.

We started with a look at what you told us were your top areas of concern thru the survey: (1) POLICE – the need for increased police presence, (2) COMMUNICATIONS — better communication between neighbors, and (3) SOCIAL — the need to know our neighbors better. We then took on these areas of concern one by one.

Strengthening the tie between Avon Woods and MPD, Colonel Chris Moffatt, chief commander of the Appling Farms Station attended, along with MPD Officer Nigel Payne and MPD Neighborhood Watch Coordinator Betty Seago . The three shared valuable information about neighborhood safety, the Neighborhood Watch program, and ways to more deeply connect with the police department.

Neighborhood Watch Advice

The basis of a strong Neighborhood Watch and a safer neighborhood, according to Colonel Moffatt, is knowing your neighbors and staying in communication. Appointing Block Captains is the best way to divide the neighborhood into manageable sections, with each Captain responsible for knowing their immediate neighbors and serving as the point of contact in the event of a crime or security incident. “(When something happens) Number One, call the cops,” said Colonel Moffatt. “Secondly, you alert your neighbors.” If that incident is potentially life-threatening, call 911. Otherwise, call 901-545-COPS (2677).

Mrs. Seago, who is retiring after more than 20 years serving the MPD Neighborhood Watch program, offered advice and examples from other successful Neighborhood Watch groups. Know your immediate neighbors and, if you see something or someone strange, text or call them. Both she and Colonel Moffatt suggested using a text messaging app such as GroupMe, but laying down some ground rules, emphasizing its use for serious situations only. They also stressed the importance of getting to know your local police.

Closer Ties with Memphis Police

The precinct that includes Avon Woods is headquartered at Appling Farms Station, 6850 Appling Farms Pkwy. (901-636-4400).

An exceptional way to gain a better understanding of the city police department is through the Citizen’s Police Academy, a nine-week course, held one day a week, three hours each week, at the police station. Participants are eligible to participate in a ride-along with a police officer to gain first-hand knowledge of a police officer’s tour of duty.

If you have a security camera, one way to help police fight crime in your neighborhood is to register your camera with the MPD at, a safety program that makes it easier for police to track down video evidence after a crime occurs. Registering your camera does not allow MPD access to your live video stream; it only enables investigators to know that a camera is present at your location so they can more easily request video evidence should an incident occur.

Another way to get more closely connected is by attending the Partnership Joint Agency, a meeting at 3:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Appling Farms Station, with representatives from not only MPD, but Memphis Code Enforcement, Shelby County Code Enforcement, and the Shelby County Sheriff Department. This monthly town hall-style meeting with community residents helps connect dots to address crime and code infractions.

Call for Block Captains Volunteers

The lynch pins of a strong Neighborhood Watch are Block Captains, those volunteers who serve as point of contact for their immediately surrounding neighbors. Avon Woods resident Ryan “Torrent” Johnston spearheaded taking names for those interested in becoming Block Captains. Thus, far about 8 people have raised their hands. In a neighborhood the size of ours, several more are needed. If you’re interested in serving as a Block Captain or would like more information, contact Ryan at

Where to find us


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