Idea of arming Neighborhood Watch groups stirs debate

Should neighborhood watch groups have guns?

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - An idea posted to Facebook has residents chiming in on whether Neighborhood Watch groups should be armed.

Posted to a private social media group geared toward residents of Shreveport's Broadmoor neighborhood and surrounding areas, it read:

"Talk of armed neighborhood watch groups in Neighborhoods… weigh in."

"We have people that say things on social media and, as soon as it's said, it becomes a wildfire," said Rob Broussard, president of Broadmoor Neighborhood Association.

One unidentified person's comments on the post says "the conversation started with me stating it would be foolish to be out patrolling your neighborhood without being armed."

Broussard notes that "they already have the right to have a weapon in their car, regardless of it being a neighborhood group or not.

"So if they do that, are they breaking any laws? That's the question we have to ask."

While there are no armed watch groups in the area, Broussard thinks it is a discussion worth having.

"Now, as the neighborhood president, I'm never gonna advocate that there is a vigilante group that should ride around with weapons looking for people."

Residents say while the post was just talk, they've seen enough chit-chat to form an opinion.

"I'd be against it because there are too many paranoid people on these Facebook groups. I notice it every day," Jamie Buchanan said.

It's a tough responsibility others believe should be left up to law enforcement.

Shreveport police say anyone serious about fighting crime in their neighborhoods should join their neighborhood assistance teams by calling (318) 673-6950.

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