More and more people are questioning the safety of their families and property. Families are posting cameras on their homes and building fences around the yards to protect themselves from thieves or worse.

Anyone on a Neighborhood Watch chat group can see that group members, residents of those communities, are on hyper alert. In some ways this is great because we’re all taking precautions and working together as a community to protect ourselves. We may not be our brothers’ keeper but we certainly have their backs.

The home cameras — and even cellphones capturing culprits in digitized video — have helped police officers nab some of the guys who threaten the peace and safety we're working to build within our communities. 

But this comes at a price. There is a general distrust for anyone outside of the network we've created.

A girl and her mother selling Girl Scout Cookies or missionaries walking around to share their love of the gospel are almost instantly reported on the chat if they’re not wearing anything that very clearly marks their intent. Immediately a picture of them and their car is posted on the chat and pretty soon all of the other Neighborhood Watch chats have the photos.

On some level we all feel it – the sadness that we can no longer be a friendly and open community. We’ve seen the comments on Facebook of people wishing we could go back to the times when kids could play on their yards or even their streets without fear because cars are driving too fast – or God forbid one of the children are taken.

So when the island’s elected leaders, from the governor to the mayors, say that a machete attack in the middle of the day on a busy street is blown out of proportion, it angers the people who depend on them and elected them to ensure our island’s safety.

And, as a few dozen commenters on social media have said, their words have us questioning their ability to support the public safety that we all are trying to build.

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