Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon

Every day, neighborhoods across the United States confront any number of property and violent crimes and threats of crime. The Neighborhood Watch program attempts to provide local law enforcement with additional eyes and ears to watch out for all types of criminal activity and promote neighborhood security. Community crime watches can address all types of crime, but their primary focus is typically residential burglary and other crimes around the home, such as larceny and vandalism. Their presence can also help deter criminals who would attempt to conduct drug- or gang-related activities in the neighborhood.

Starting a Neighborhood Watch where you live could be a first step toward reducing crime in your area and keeping your family safe.

The first action item is to identify key leaders or persons most concerned about crime in the neighborhood and organize a meeting of these individuals to discuss safety. We’d be happy to come to a neighborhood meeting to discuss community safety, and volunteers can be solicited to serve as block watch leaders. The neighborhood may be divided by blocks and block leaders assigned to serve as points of contact. A communication network can be organized to pass along information about crime and security to residents. We can provide training on recognizing and reporting suspicious activity and on home and neighborhood security. The watch may expand to foot or car patrols. The watch can provide a variety of safety and security information to residents.

Local law enforcement officials and residents form the crucial partnership in this strategy. Training from the police and help with recruitment and communication ensure the watch program’s success and provide the basis for a sustained and broad-based community effort to promote public safety. Local media aid watch groups by publicizing recruitment drives and successes in crime prevention through citizen involvement. Involving seniors and youth will also make the program more comprehensive.

For more information about starting a Neighborhood Watch where you live, click here or call 803-785-8230.