Neighborhoods are Watching Out for Crime

It's common to not know your neighbors these days. However, law enforcement say this unfamiliarity may not be safe.

Ten neighborhoods have started community watch programs with the Dothan Police Department.

Now residents are following a slogan, and it seems to be making a difference.

“Like the sign says, 'If you see something, say something," not just to a neighbor, but report it,” says resident Patricia Peel.

Wednesday, the Dothan Police Department unveiled a community watch program sign in the Hamilton Hills neighborhood.

Peel helped start the program back in November, and nine other communities have joined since.

Through regular meetings, neighbors have gotten to know each other and develop a comradery.

“The purpose of the community watch program is to bring neighbors back together, and put neighbor back into the neighborhood,” says the Community Watch Program Coordinator, Dothan Police Department Officer, RaeMonica Carney.

Law enforcement says that's very effective in cutting crime.

“When someone is not a member of that neighborhood they stick out like a sore thumb. So they are very much aware. They learn that information and they utilize it,” says Officer Carney.

Peel states, “We've already seen some positive results.”

Prior to the program, police say many residents were simply unaware of how to report a crime.

Officer Carney, “Once they were given the information on how to report a crime, what to expect once they call the police department, it made quite a difference. “

But the education doesn't stop there.

“We teach them about public safety, how to target harden their homes, to identify their properties, so if they become a victim, it's easier for us to be able to identify their property if we recover it,” says Officer Carney.

Now law enforcement and participants are encouraging you and your neighbors to get involved.

Peel says, “Put it high on your priority list because you are going to reap the benefits.”

If you would like to start a community watch program in your neighborhood give the Dothan Police Department a call at (334)615-3000.

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