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Wouldn't You Want to Prevent Crime on Your Street?

02/13/2017

Clayton already ranks as one of the safest towns in North Carolina, but what if you could make your street and neighborhood even safer?

What if one of our dedicated officers could easily walk you through one of the most  effective and least costly answers to crime?

We can.  For free.  Kick start a neighborhood watch and you will be creating a program that the U.S. Department of Justice found is linked to a "significant reduction in crime"  and a program that can be the stepping stone to community revitalization. 

Officer Owen Phillips has helped numerous Clayton neighborhoods begin on the path to increased security. 

Why start this important partnership with Clayton Police?  While we have more than 40 dedicated uniformed officers on the Clayton Police force, there cannot be a police officer on every street corner, - that's why resident involvement is essential to combat crime. You and your neighbors are experts who really know what is going on in your neighborhood and by cooperating with each other and the police, you can help fight crime the most effective way – before it begins

WHAT IS A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH?

It's not spying on your neighbors, Neighborhodd Watch is simply a program of neighbors watching out for each other during the workday, at night, during vacations or any time you're just not able to be home. The purpose of the Neighborhood Watch program is to create an alert neighborhood by using simple crime prevention methods. The program works through the mutual aid of neighbors watching the property of other neighbors. This has several advantages, including the fact that your neighbors know who you are, what type of car you drive, and who belongs, as a rule, at your residence. A patrol officer driving by your home might not recognize someone as a stranger in your yard. However, an alert neighbor would recognize the person as a stranger. They could then call 9-1-1 to alert police of the suspicious activity.

Neighborhood Watch does not promote vigilantism. The program does NOT advocate citizens taking the place of the police in enforcing laws or apprehending criminals. The program provides training to citizens on how to recognize suspicious or criminal activity and report these activities to the police.  Members of Neighborhood Watch groups are never asked to put themselves in harm’s way to prevent crime. They should only observe and report suspicious activities to the Police Department. This leaves the responsibility for confronting and apprehending criminals where it belongs—with your Town of Clayton Police officers. 

Residents can provide the police with valuable information, which will help the police to investigate suspicious activities, apprehend criminals and prevent crime. The Neighborhood Watch groups provide “eyes and ears” to the police department which keeps the criminal off guard. As a result, the criminal has to watch out for not only the police, but also an entire community on the lookout for any criminal or suspicious activity.

Don't wait, if you even have a remote interest in learning what a Neighborhood Watch is all about and how to get some of your neighbors on board, please email Officer Phillips at ophillips@townofclaytonnc.org for more information.  He's excited to help you!  You can also contact the Clayton Police Department’s Special Operations Unit office at 919-550-0826.  This office is not always staffed during normal business hours, but please leave a message and Officer Phillips or another Community Action Team member will contact you back. 

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