By Stan Welch
Five years ago, the White Plains Community Watch was formed, in order to provide more surveillance in the community, and to help expand the presence of law enforcement in Sheriff’s District One.
Thursday evening, at 6:30 p.m., the group will gather to celebrate their fifth anniversary and the accomplishments they have had during that time. Ada Martin, one of the founders, and a member of the Anderson County Crime Stoppers board of directors, says anyone is welcome, including officers on patrol who might like to stop by long enough to grab a beverage and a snack.
“One thing we always do is feed folks, “said Martin, whose interest in the issue of law enforcement and citizen involvement goes back much farther than five years. Her son Richard was found beaten to death on Welcome Road late one Saturday night.
That was in 1995, and the case remains unsolved. Martin has been very active in efforts to keep a number of cold cases active, working with both local and state law enforcement agencies.
Thursday night, several members of the Crime Stoppers board will be on hand, as well as District One Captain Darrell Hill, who Martin says is faithful about attending the meetings. “He misses very, very seldom. We know he’s on a case if he doesn’t make the meeting.”
Chad McBride, who also helped organize the chapter before becoming ACSO public information officer, will also be on hand; and Sheriff Skipper is expected as well.
The group has numbered as many as sixty members and has had as few as four in its early days. “People come and go, as in all organizations. But we cover a rather large area, and draw people from other districts to join us. We always try to have a speaker and the Sheriff has been very helpful in making useful information available and accessible,” said Martin.
Martin says the group has had a definite impact in the area. “I have a list of things to brag about on my agenda,” she said, laughingly.
The celebration will be held at the group’s usual meeting place – the White Plains Community Building at the corner of Midway Road and Highway 8. It’s just across from the Hickory Point gas station. The public is welcome.