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People ready to take back their town from crime

CHARLESTON -- A new neighborhood watch group is hoping to curb crime. 
CHARLESTON -- A new neighborhood watch group is hoping to curb crime.  Tonight was their second meeting.  More than ten people came to the Illinois Coalition of Community Services building with one goal in mind: change. 

    "A lot of weird things were happening so we just decided we're just going to take our town back," said Cassandra Tinder.  She is one of the founders of the Charleston Neighborhood Watch Group; a group that formed after a conversation on Facebook. 

    "We were talking about how we were not happy with the way the town is being portrayed in the news and the newspaper," said Tinder. 
    So she joined forces with a couple of other woman about a month ago after hearing too many reports of crime in their town.  The breaking point was when one of their friends was hit by burglars. 
    "They had a robbery in one week then less than seven days I believe, they had another one," said Tinder. 

    So they came up with the watch group.   Tonight Sheriff's deputy Jim Rankin was asked to join them and jumped at the chance to help. 

    "There are several things that we all want.  We want a safer community for our children for ourselves," said Rankin. 
    Tonight he walked through the basic steps of forming a watch group and gave tips to make sure everyone stays safe. 
    "Any one crime is more than any crime that we want.  If we can reduce that by one, we're doing a better job," said Rankin. 

    "We want to have this area as safe as it was when we were growing up," said Tinder. 

    The next watch group meeting is February 21st.  For more information, click here. 

    If you want to join, call Cassandra Tinder at 217.549.6026, Kelly Rardin at 217.649.8278 or Becca Stearn at 217.549.6224. 
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