Things learned through Neighborhood Watch helped the victim of a hostage situation at the Royal Oaks Subdivision know what to look for and do during the incident.Tuesday, the homeowner had a …
Things learned through Neighborhood Watch helped the victim of a hostage situation at the Royal Oaks Subdivision know what to look for and do during the incident.
Tuesday, the homeowner had a couple break into her home. She had already called 911 prior to the break-in because she noticed something unusual outside her home.
"They have a pretty good size Neighborhood Watch program in Royal Oaks," said Lt. Bob Hancock, who coordinates the program for the Bradley County Sheriff's Office.
Hancock said he goes over all phases of Neighborhood Watch as one is organized.
"From observing crime, reporting crime and project identification — which is being able to identify all your preferable items — and we stress the importance of them to the Sheriff's Office, because we do not know what is normal in a neighborhood," Hancock said. "I tell each Neighborhood Watch we are blind without their help.
"We need their cooperation, and thankfully, here in Bradley County, we have great cooperation," he added. "They know what is in place in a neighborhood and what is not in place."
Hancock said the victim of the Royal Oaks incident did exactly what she should have done.
"She called in a suspicious vehicle. The (suspects) kicked in her door. She had gone to a room and barricaded herself, which is exactly what she should have done," Hancock said, "and for her to be 83 years old and do that was truly remarkable. I take my hat off to her. She did everything right, and that is what we stress to the people (on the Neighborhood Watch)."
Hancock said the Neighborhood Watch was important in the Keystone Ridge subdivision just days ago when a suspicious vehicle was parked in that area. A call to the number on the Neighborhood Watch number led authorities to investigate the vehicle.
He said with the Neighborhood Watch and having residents who are active in calling in suspicious activity "is the salvation other than the Lord when we have citizens who actively help law enforcement."
Hancock said all neighborhoods in the program receive signs to be placed that have current information, such as the present sheriff and the phone number to call when trying to reach police or deputies.
"These are accurate and up to date," he said.
Hancock said if anyone wishes to get a Neighborhood Watch in their subdivision, they should contact Hancock at the Bradley County Sheriff's Office.
"I believe in this program from the top of my head to the bottom of my boots," Hancock said.
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