The news that Cindy and Dennis Higdon’s home had been robbed while they were attending the funeral of their 20-year-old son, Christian, struck a chord with many area residents.
One concerned Grayson Countian, Clydean Cooper, decided that it was not enough to simply feel bad for the Higdons or angry with the thieves - she wanted to take action.
During the next few days, Cooper quickly formulated a plan that she feels has the potential to eliminate the risk of another incident like this happening to a grieving family.
Somewhere between a neighborhood watch and house sitting lies the solution, which Cooper accredits not to herself, but to God.
The idea, which is being championed by the group LOFEO, an acronym which stands for Looking Out For Each Other, would be to place background-checked helpers at the homes of families who are attending either a funeral of a wedding to ensure that thieves could not burglarize the homes after checking local announcements for the times that they would be away.
The group would consist entirely of volunteers with the desire to help their friends and neighbors.
A different approach which has floated around, according to Cooper, would be to severely limit the information given out in newspaper and radio announcements regarding funerals and weddings; however, Cooper said it is not fair to inconvenience the majority of people simply because there are a few bad ones.
The idea of funeral-sitters (or wedding-sitters) has gained a good backing, including Kentucky State Police, Grayson County Sheriff’s Department, Leitchfield Police Department, local funeral directors, and a number of would-be volunteers.
“We want to help in any way we can,” said Sheriff Rick Clemons, who has offered to perform the background checks on volunteers.
Clemons explained that while it is not feasible for law enforcement officers to watch the homes themselves while still keeping up their normal patrols, he said that those on duty in his department would be happy to make themselves available to the house-sitting volunteers if they are needed, and that they will be just a phone call away.
While Cooper and others hope that simply having someone at the homes will be deterrent enough to would-be-burglars, it certainly does not hurt to have the backing of three separate local law enforcement agencies.
LOFEO will host an informational meeting on Tuesday evening, July 10 at 6 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Church Parish for anyone who would like more details or to take part in the initiative. Cooper would like to strongly encourage everyone to attend.