Valley City man requests citizens watch patrolValley City, ND (WDAY TV) - A Valley City man's request for an armed citizens watch patrol is not being met with a lot of community support.
By: Katie Lange, WDAY
Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - A Valley City man's request for an armed citizens watch patrol is not being met with a lot of community support.
In fact, the chief of police and mayor say they aren't even considering it.
Police say they're handling any issues that arise.
And the last thing they need is a bunch of untrained citizens roaming the streets with loaded weapons.
Another part of the problem is when officers arrive people involved in fights refuse to tell authorities what happened, for fear of ratting out a friend.
After weeks of using his own detective skills.
Bob Drake, Valley City Resident: "The last three weeks downtown there was eleven fights."
From the Nu Bar to the VFW, within a block and half radius there are 6 bars. Bar owners and residents agree there are too many fights, the question at hand, what to do?
Valley City resident, Bob Drake, decided to take his solution to city commissioners.
Drake: "What I put on the agenda was to have an armed neighborhood watch"
A simple solution or another George Zimmerman incident waiting to happen? Drake says the police aren't getting the job done.
Drake: "One of these days someone's going to get hurt pretty bad - someone is going to get shot or stabbed."
Armed citizens is the last thing Police Chief Fred Thompson wants patrolling the streets. Instead he said extra eyes and ears would be enough, something Drake says he isn't opposed to.
Drake: "I don't even know if I was on a neighborhood watch if I would even carry a gun because I'm not interested in confronting anybody."
Although he admits to having a conceal and carry permit it may have not been in his best interest to suggest armed citizens to the commissioners board.
Drake: "My intent is to drive around town, if I see something suspicious or somebody breaking into something to call the cops."
Whether it would be enough to help deter fights is a whole other question...
Ryan Mathias, Nu Bar Owner: "Fights have been happening in bars since bars were invented."
Some bar owners have cameras inside their establishments, but not in the back alleys or out front.
Drake says maybe cameras could be a cheaper and simpler solution.