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500 Morgan Drive
PO Box 46
Tifton, Georgia 31793
Administrative Office Hours:
M-F 8:00am - 6:00pm
 
     
 
11/09/2015

Neighborhood Watch

Captain Dennis Reese, County Commissioner Melissa Hughes, Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough along with area residents Willie McDonald and Gailia Savage.

                     

Neighborhood Watch

The Tift County Sheriff's Office placed Neighborhood Watch signs on East Washington Street and Shanna Drive in an effect to curb crime. Neighborhood Watch can trace its roots back to the days of colonial settlements when night watchmen patrolled the streets.  The modern version, launched in 1972, was developed in response to requests from sheriff's and police chiefs who were looking for a crime prevention program that would involve citizens and address an increasing number of burglaries.  

 TIPS:

  • Work with local law enforcement.  These agencies are critical to a Watch group's credibility and are the source of necessary information and training.
  • Link up with your victims’ services office to get your members trained in helping victims of crime.
  • Hold regular meetings to help residents get to know each other and to decide upon program strategies and activities.
  • Consider linking with an existing organization, such as a citizens’ association, community development office, tenants’ association, or housing authority. They may be able to provide an existing infrastructure you can use.
  • Canvass door-to-door to recruit members.
  • Ask people who seldom leave their homes to be “window watchers,” looking out for children and reporting any unusual activities in the neighborhood.
  • Translate crime and drug prevention materials into Spanish or other languages needed by non-English speakers in your community. If necessary, have a translator at meetings.
  • Sponsor a crime and drug prevention fair at a church hall, temple, shopping mall, or community center.
  • Gather the facts about crime in your neighborhood. Check police reports, conduct victimization surveys, and learn residents’ perceptions about crimes. Often, residents’ opinions are not supported by facts, and accurate information can reduce the fear of crime.
  • Physical conditions like abandoned cars or overgrown vacant lots contribute to crime. Sponsor cleanups, encourage residents to beautify the area, and ask them to turn on outdoor lights at night.
  • Work with small businesses to repair rundown storefronts, clean up littered streets, and create jobs for young people.
  • Start a block parent program to help children cope with emergencies while walking to and from school or playing in the area.
  • Emphasize that Watch groups are not vigilantes and should not assume the role of law enforcement.  Their duty is to ask neighbors to be alert, observant and caring - and to report suspicious activity or crimes immediately to law enforcement.

 

 

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