A new warning to would-be burglars is being distributed to residents who are a part of the community Neighborhood Watch programs.
According to Lt. Bob Hancock, coordinator of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Neighborhood Watch program, residents who have established a watch network in their community can now display a blue-and-gray sticker on doors or windows of their home which designate the watch program.
“In bold, blue lettering they warn, ‘This is a neighborhood watch home. Your suspicious activity has already been observed and 911 has been notified,’” according to Hancock.
“The stickers act as a deterrent to crime when placed near an entrance or in a conspicuous place on the home,” he said.
One of the foundations of the national watch program encourages active involvement in a participating community.
“The program is in thousands of communities nationwide and boasts a proven record of success of deterring crime and catching criminals in the act,” Hancock said.
For more than two years, Hancock has presented programs in a number of areas of the city and county, establishing the Neighborhood Watch networks and teaching residents of their specific network how to protect their community.
“The Sheriff’s Office currently has active groups in more than 40 neighborhoods with hundreds of active participants,” Hancock said.
Hancock also provides useful information on ways residents can make their homes safer so they are a less attractive target to burglars.
“Many are inexpensive, such as trimming or removing shrubbery around entrances to the home,” Hancock said.
“To get started, a member of the community will be needed to sample whether sufficient interest exists and to plan the organizational meeting if the neighborhood is ready to begin. Organizational meetings include other ways of preventing crime and a visual tour of the Sheriff’s Office,” Hancock said.
Anyone who would like more information about becoming a crime prevention partner with the BCSO and establishing a Neighborhood Watch program can contact Hancock at 728-7321.