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LCSO launches neighborhood crime watch initiative

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 7:12 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Thursday, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office unveiled new signage in neighborhoods participating in LCSO’s neighborhood crime watch program.

Sheriff Walt McNeil says since the beginning of 2021, there have been 172 vehicle burglaries in the county, with more than 20 firearms stolen out of vehicles.

Sheriff McNeil was joined by the Lafayette Oaks neighborhood crime watch coordinator, Melanie Jernigan as they discussed the importance of communication between law enforcement and communities while encouraging inactive neighborhoods to get involved.

Jernigan tells WCTV they hope the new signage will deter criminals from coming into their neighborhood.

“It’s real important, because when people come in, that’s one of the first things they see and if it just makes a criminal or somebody that’s up to mischief, if they look at that and go ‘huh’ that’s all the time you need and they can turn around and leave,” said Jernigan.

In a press release LCSO says, “Neighborhood crime watch programs are crucial in learning how to identify and report suspicious activity while building stronger neighborhood networks. These community driven programs allow citizens to invest in the safety of their neighborhood and work with law enforcement to decrease the likelihood of becoming a victim. A well-organized neighborhood crime watch is proof that safeguards are in place to detect crime and report suspicious activity to law enforcement. A visible and meaningful neighborhood crime watch sign indicates a watchful community to deter criminal activity such as vehicle and home burglaries.”

If your neighborhood is interested in being a part of LCSO’s Neighborhood crime watch, here are the requirements:

  • Host an initial neighborhood meeting in conjunction with an LCSO representative (can be done through Homeowner’s Association/Neighborhood Association)
  • Identify a neighborhood chairperson and block captains for each street
  • Host annual meetings
  • Create a resident communication plan (Social Media, Email, Group Text, etc.)

To learn more about the initiative you can contact Crime Prevention at (850) 606-3331.

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