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Neighborhood gathers for a block party, encourages crime prevention

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Neighborhood gathers for a block party, encourages crime prevention

By Kimberly Foley. CREATED Aug 2, 2014 - UPDATED: Aug 2, 2014
OMAHA, Neb. - Getting to know your neighbor is a simple concept that goes a long way.
 
At 79th and Lake, residents are getting together and putting that idea to good use. 
 
"We keep the neighborhood we have, and that's really good," said Xavier Estraea, who lives nearby. 
 
Neighbors started the Benson Gardens Neighborhood Association.
 
Their area covers about 1,000 homes from Blondo to Maple and 72nd to 90th.
 
The big idea in this block is to watch out for one another.
 
"If there are criminals out there, they don't want to be noticed," said Estraea. "If people are out, especially in citizens patrol, they see that, they don't want to be around that."
 
Neighbors started a watch a few years ago after crimes were committed in the area. They've kept it going ever since, and hope now, the new association will give the watch a boost.
 
"I think more and more, with what we see across the city, it's really important," said Ricci Miller, who lives in the neighborhood. "We definitely want to make sure we are taking all the steps to make sure we are safe, but also how we can help each other out."
 
Events like this will help keep the community safe.
 
"It's very important, especially for our children," said Estraea. "We want them to live in a safe place. We want them to be able to play in the front yard."
 
The association only has about 40 paid members.
 
They're hoping through events and quarterly meetings to attract even more residents.