Pine Bluff Police Chief Brenda Davis-Jones told a citywide Neighborhood Watch community meeting Thursday evening that she will pass on complaints to municipal departments in order to build communications in the city.

Pine Bluff Police Chief Brenda Davis-Jones told a citywide Neighborhood Watch community meeting Thursday evening that she will pass on complaints to municipal departments in order to build communications in the city.

Davis-Jones and a number of department officers told more than two dozen residents that they are willing to listen to their comments and observations in order to build a program to combat crime in Pine Bluff.

The meeting, held in the Pine Bluff City Council Chambers at the civic center and sponsored by the police department, was the first quarterly Neighborhood Watch program geared to increase participation and awareness, the chief added. She said municipal department heads will be invited to attend the next one this year.

“I want to know what we can do to stop the killing,” one woman stated. “We are trying to do everything we can to stop homicides,” a ranking officer responded, adding that emphasis has been placed on crimes involving guns.

Davis-Jones said individuals who serve as the additional eyes and ears of the police department can help curb crime.

One woman said her request for additional patrols in the Broadmoor area was answered, praising one officer who leaves cards when he checks buildings at night. The chief acknowledged the officer’s actions and said the department will assign officers to check residences when property owners are on vacation, for example.

Others in the audience said they want a police car at a school bus stop in the morning on school days because of reckless drivers ignoring traffic signals, while another cited cars and motorcycles turning one neighborhood street into a “racetrack.”

Many of the complaints lodged involved non-police issues, including potholes, problems with drainage, who has the responsibility for picking up bagged leaves and stray dogs. To solve the latter, a woman said she called Ted Davis, administrative assistant to Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. and asked him to help enforce the leash law.

“What do you do when you call so many times?” a woman asked.

Davis-Jones suggested the woman call her office, adding the message will be forwarded to the appropriate municipal office.

Without help from neighborhood watch groups, “we are fighting a losing battle,” the chief added. “You need to take back your community. We need to get our neighbors involved.”

Police have changed their crime fighting tactics, the police chief said, and have not logged a commercial burglary in two weeks. “Something must be working.”

Assistant Chief Ivan Whitfield noted that many neighborhoods in Pine Bluff have changed. He suggested residents call police when they observe problems, adding “Don’t let it build up.”

Alderman Steven Mays and John James of “Take Back Pine Bluff” encouraged residents to be proactive.

Regina VonTungeln, coordinator for the Neighborhood Watch effort, said she hopes to build up the program with recruiting and publicity on the volunteers’ efforts.