Preston Hollow People: Briarwood Treated to 'A Taste of Lovers'

For the full text, follow the jump. 

Briarwood Treated to 'A Taste of Lovers'
Neighborhood's crime-watchers meet up to dish

By Margaux Anbouba
People Newspapers

Yalda Haghighat is serious about neighborhood safety. At 8 years old, she's the youngest member of the Briarwood Crime Watch, and a block captain to boot.

"It's a really big responsibility," Yalda said. "When you're a block captain, your responsibility is to always come to the meetings. I usually don't listen that much, but the good thing about going to the meeting is you hear about what's going on, like the crime and what events are going to happen soon."

Briarwood residents gathered for one of those events, National Night Out, on Tuesday evening in Brad Griffith's backyard and vineyard. With 340 attendees, the event quadrupled in size from last year's celebration promoting neighborhood safety.

Themed "A Taste of Lovers," the gathering featured food from five nearby restaurants — Campisi's, Celebration, Eatzi's, Empire Bakery, and Rex's Seafood.

While Briarwood residents chowed down, they met with neighbors and learned about safety from police officers and firemen. There were also appearances from Mayor Mike Rawlings, City Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, Legislature candidate Leigh Bailey, and McGruff the Crime Dog.

"We feel like Briarwood is doing what Mayor Mike Rawlings has called for, which is neighborhoods getting into action and doing something to prevent crime," said Time Elsner, president of the Briarwood Crime Watch. "We are offering Briarwood neighbors a lot of channels to keep crime at a standstill or prevent it."

Some of their other efforts include etching VIN numbers on vehicles. On Oct. 19, the group will host a paper-shredding event in the parking lot of Inwood National Bank. There are also off-duty police officers hired to patrol the neighborhood for more than 40 hours a month.

All of these events from with the seal of approval from Yalda, who has been involved with the crime watch since she was 3.

"We are a smaller community, and I wanted to get involved to teach [my daughter] safety," said Yalda's father, Moe, who owns the 7-Eleven down the street. "I wanted her to be involved to get to know the police and her neighborhood."