Several community watch groups took park last week in the National Night Out event, an annual community-building campaign which promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer.
“I think it’s a great program,” said Danny Carter, leader of a Community Watch group on Nebo Road. “We had 37 people at the National Night Out. We have a really great group of people.”
“The Community Watch Program started back in 1972 by the National Sheriff’s Association,” said Deputy Sharon Diaz of the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office. “Community Watch groups strengthen and serve the community in lowering crime rates, as well as expanding its role to preparing for disasters and emergency response situations. Community Watch is a crime-prevention program that is a proactive approach that enhances and promotes trust in the community between residents and law enforcement.
“By combining their strengths, they will be able to effectively reduce crime, prevent crime, build positive community relations and increase sustainability. Law enforcement cannot be in all areas at one time, so having informal control from residents helps lower crime rates. With the support of the community, law enforcement can build relationships and achieve our goal in making our county safer.”
Sheriff Ricky Oliver added that the Community Watch groups are an important part of crime prevention in the area.
Community Watch leader David Brown on Dobbins Road in Boonville also hosted a gathering for National Night Out on Aug. 2. Diaz said Brown’s group has been very active since it first began.
Carter’s group is newer, but they already have benefited from the information on making their homes a harder target for potential criminals to access.
“It’s a great crime deterrent,” Carter said. He said they have Community Watch signs up in their neighborhood.
“Officer Diaz gives a great presentation at these meetings,” Carter said. “I highly recommend every community in Yadkin County do this. I hope we can get this spread across the county.”
He has made changes to how he secures his home after hearing the presentations from Diaz, as have others in his neighborhood.
For more information or to start a Community Watch group on a road or in an area, contact Crime Prevention at 336-849-7836.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.