Neighbor looking out for neighbor
by JIM RUTH, Bradley County Sheriff
Sep 16, 2012 | 694 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I have mentioned this subject a time or two before, but we need to address it again. Some neighborhood watches are working well in protecting against home burglaries.

Others who do not enjoy the social interaction are not as likely to participate.

I want to point out that we can all have a part in keeping our neighborhoods safe by simply being aware and paying attention to our surroundings.

Example: An unfamiliar car slowly driving through your neighborhood when most everyone is working. The way you can help is by writing down the description of the car and occupants, along with the license plate number, if possible.

Anything out of the ordinary should be noted, along with the time and date. If you are retired or otherwise home a lot during the day you could keep a notebook handy to keep a log of these unusual activities.

This is not as bizarre or difficult as it sounds. Should there be a burglary in the area you can call a deputy and share the information with him or her. Your information can help solve a crime that was committed down the road, even in another neighborhood.

Little details have led to the solving of a lot of crimes.

Recently, in another county a friend’s high school age grandchildren were left at home to get ready for school. Their mother left early to get to work. A man in his 20s knocked on the door of the house. When they did not answer the knock he began to break into the house. Fortunately, the girls called 911 and there were officers close by who caught the would-be burglar.

When you see someone selectively knocking on doors, and the situation doesn’t look right to you, call for a deputy or at least write the information down for future reference. Door-to-door salesmen are as rare as hens’ teeth these days — and most of us phone ahead when we visit our friends and relatives.

I do not want anyone to become paranoid or to live in fear. However, with a growing population and very limited budgets, we in law enforcement need all the help we can get. My shift commanders are to keep their people deployed across the county so that we can respond to emergency calls in the quickest time possible. But, we still need your help in preventing crime and catching criminals.

I know that many of our senior citizens and single parents rest easier each day knowing that we are always vigilant and ready to answer any emergency.

It is important that people who are in and out of residential areas every day pay attention to any unusual activity. Utility people, delivery people and those on mail routes are all familiar with our neighborhoods and are frequently in a position to record and report suspicious activities.

How many times have we read where the mailman or woman somewhere has saved the lives of an elderly person who had fallen sick, because they noticed that things were not normal at that person’s residence?

I have mentioned these silent sentries before, but, once again, I want to encourage them to continue their “watching out for neighbors.”

All of us can help with keeping the criminal element at bay with just a little effort and concern from each of us.

Please feel free to open the lines of communication with the deputies who patrol your neighborhood. Share your safety concerns with them. Ask them how you can help them keep your neighborhood crime free.

Call 728-7301 to be put in touch with a shift commander and he or she will have that deputy call on you.

Thanks for reading.