On Jan. 17 the Cedar Mesa Community Club (CMCC) hosted an open meeting featuring a presentation from Sheriff Mark Taylor and Sgt. Keith Sanders with K9 Oxx.
The meeting had two purposes -- first to hear Taylor's plans for office and also to address concerns about recent burglaries on Cedar Mesa.
After sharing about Sgt. Sanders' work with Oxx, Taylor provided an informative history on the sheriff's role in the county over the last 130 years. He used this to show how the county and department have changed. Essentially, the number of staff able to meet the needs of the county is struggling to keep up with demand.
From Taylor's experience there's an increase in crimes in the area, such as the burglaries on Cedar Mesa. Illegal drugs play a large role in this spike. Specifics of the burglaries were not given at the meeting, but it appears several of them have occurred on Cedar Mesa over the last year and a half.
Taylor advised the 30 or so concerned citizens present for the meeting that the best thing they can do is to be watchful. "If concerned or interested if anything is happening in the area please call the department," he said.
At this point it was asked if it would be wise to put together a Neighborhood Watch program. Taylor said that program would be a good idea.
Additionally, he advised citizens to keep their doors, gates and sheds locked, even during the daytime. Just because one suspect might get caught doesn't mean they don't run in groups and won't strike again.
Security cameras would prove helpful for the department to locate suspects should anything happen. "As many deterrents you can put up, the less desirable you'll appear," said Taylor.
In the following weeks the CMCC plans to discuss ways to keep the community safe and informed. They created a list of contacts to implement a watch program. "We can help protect ourselves and help law enforcement," said Jane Romatzke, president of CMCC.