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Updated: 02/19/2015 06:29:43PM

Start your own neighborhood watch program

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Bartow Police Chief Joseph Hall

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When I began writing this article for The Democrat, “Tips From The Chief,” the goal was to inform the citizens of Bartow about current topics. I have focused many of my topics on areas that we at the Bartow Police Department were interested in improving in order to lower our crime rate. Today is really no different.

I have often discussed the crime rate, and even boasted that our crime rate was relatively low. In fact, it has dropped every year since 2008. Still, however, one of the biggest issues that we deal with is property crime. Property crimes are a difficult area to manage for law enforcement agencies because our best approach to the prevention of this crime is through the community. This is where we need your help.

Although we are a relatively small community, we deal with a considerable transient population because we are the county seat. Also, officers on the road do not know you and your neighborhood like you do. You can be a part of the solution by reporting suspicious behavior to the Bartow Police Department. Better still, if you don’t have one already, consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By using this approach, you and your neighbors can team up to identify out of the ordinary activity and report it to the police. You don’t have to do anything overtly, just report suspicious behavior, such as vehicles and the like. You never know, what you see may not seem like much to you at the time, but it could be very important to someone else. This also can be done anonymously.

If you are interested in starting a neighborhood watch program in your community, contact Lyn Bryan at 863-534-5034. She will be happy to guide you in the right direction.

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