The first steps in creating a Neighborhood Watch program in Crawford were taken at the Sept. 21 council meeting. Kris Stewart with the Delta County Sheriff's Office spoke at the meeting by invitation of trustee and retired law enforcement officer, John Paton.
Neighborhood Watch programs are separate from law enforcement and are run by the citizens, said Stewart. How each watch runs and in which neighborhoods is up to organizers and members. "The neighborhood watch is not code enforcement," nor is it a citizen's patrol, said Stewart. It's more about being the eyes and ears of the sheriff's department, watching out for neighbors, and knowing when and whom to call when suspicious behavior and activities occur.
Neighborhood Watch groups also hold regular meetings, raise funds, and develop a chain of communication. The first step is to contact neighbors and see if there is enough interest, said Stewart.
If there is enough buy-in from the community, they could then meet with sheriff's office representatives and discuss concerns and begin to develop an action plan. If the town shows enough interest, the sheriff's office would consider helping with the purchase of Neighborhood Watch signs.
The national Neighborhood Watch website, www.nnw.org, has more information on forming and managing a neighborhood watch program.
Citizens interested in helping to establish or join a Neighborhood Watch group can contact the Town of Crawford at 921-4725 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.