Lynchburg, VA - A stone's throw from Lynchburg's latest homicide, a group of concerned citizens gathered at Linkhorne Middle School Thursday to talk about keeping their homes safe.
The Lynchburg Police Department put on the seminar.
About a hundred people came to see it, many of them neighbors of Lynda Slocum, the 86-year-old woman killed in her home last month.
Almost all of the 100 audience members lived on or around Ravenwood Drive. For them, attending this meeting was a necessity.
When asked why she came, one woman replied, "I live on Ravenwood Drive."
As did so many others in Thursday's crowd.
"I live in the neighborhood where the lady was murdered just recently" said Robin Gladieux.
"My reasoning for coming was because we live a street over from where the recent homicide took place" said John McCorkhill.
And nearly three weeks later, for the residents of Lynchburg's Linkhorne neighborhood, that homicide is still at the top of their minds.
"It's when you thought you were safe. That you wouldn't have to worry if you left your door unlocked or your car unlocked" said Gladieux.
"When you have somebody that's murdered a block over, you realize, well you know it can get pretty close to home. And we really need to keep from letting our guard down" said McCorkhill.
So here, they learned how to keep their guard up. Taking home security tips from LPD's crime prevention staff; Sitting through a safety speech from Lynchburg police; And even, some advice from a local alarm company.
All were lessons needed, and heeded by this eager audience.
"The response tonight from that community shows solidarity that they want to be proactive and they're trying everything they can do to try and prevent crime" said Stephen Wood of the Lynchburg Crime Prevention Unit.
And for many who still live a stone's throw from that unsolved homicide, their work had just begun.
"I've been through the house, and I realize, especially after coming here tonight, gosh, there's a lot of things I need to do yet" said McCorkhill.
Some of the tips given by police: Leave on lights and electronics while you're away from home. Install an alarm system. And let your neighbors know when you won't be home.