City of Panama City to Honor Neighborhood Watch Leader - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

City of Panama City to Honor Neighborhood Watch Leader

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Most if not all  of the Neighborhood watch on Oak Hammock Drive have lived in the Panama City community more than twenty years--including their leader.

"We are a family and a neighborhood watch," said Mr. Bobby Tyson.  

Mr. Tyson is at the helm of the watch program that started at his very front door, or rather his back yard.

"It started twenty some years ago when kids were jumping his fence and cutting through his yard," said fellow neighborhood watch leader Debbie Corley of Tyson.

It was then that his mission began to keep his neighbors and community safe, but not by force-- by keeping a watchful eye.

"I had printed up the fliers for him," said Corley. "And he hand delivered every one for our first meeting."

"Come out to our Oak Hammock Park," said Karen Foster, also of the watch program. "80, 90 degrees Mr. Tyson did not care... that's where he wanted us to be."

Now the group has grown into a working partnership. Everyone watching out for everyone else--a divine sense of community.

A community by its very definition is a group leading a common life by a general rule. That rule for Mr. Tyson is peace and quiet.

"I sit out there out on the porch," said Tyson. "I walk, I drive, because I want this neighborhood peaceful."

"What he does is he gets in his car," said Foster. "He'll start from the beginning of the street and he'll drive to one end and he'll turn around and come back to the end."  

If they talked to the right people they might even be able to get their property values to rise all because of the genuine man at the end of Oak Hammock Drive.

"I love it," said Tyson. "Everything about it, from the people and all, I love it."

"Since Mr. Tyson started the neighborhood watch I feel safe," said Marvin Caldwell, another member of the Neighborhood Watch.  

"I feel safe as long as Mr. Tyson is around," said Foster.  

"I feel very safe here," said Corley.

To thank him for providing that safety, and maybe even more so his friendship, the neighborhood watch hopes to name the Oak Hammock Park after Mr. Tyson. The very place he started the neighborhood watch more than 20 years ago.

"Mr. Tyson is my very good friend," said Corley. "And he's sick and we want to do something special for him."

The Panama City Commission is expected to formally vote on the dedication at their next meeting.