National Night Out hopes to keep areas safe

The streets of the neighborhood off Hollywood and Southern haven't always been lined with litter. The sidewalks weren't always the canvas for graphitti. But times have changed.

"I don't be out at night anymore like I used for me to stay in the house at night," says resident Bertina Conway, who helped form a neighborhood watch group in the Beltline Community more than 25 years ago.

Since then she's worked to have abandoned homes torn down and clears the streets when loitering gets out of hand.

"I holler at them over there, get off the corner, go home somewhere," says Conway.

But at 80 years old, she didn't have the energy to orchestrate this year's National Night Out. She says a younger generation of neighbors isn't interested.  "My secretary is 80 my vice president is 80 and we just all older and nobody young wanted to pick it up."

Conway says people don't want to get involved because they're either are afraid of the criminals living among them or they're criminals themselves. But police say a strong neighborhood watch can put those crooks out of business.

"They have been a great tremendous impact to us because they have become our eyes and ears of the community," says Major Charles Moore of the Memphis Police Department.

Bertina Conway worries about what will become of Beltine when she's gone but, until then, her porch light will be lit and she'll keep doing her part to curb crime.