Residents launch Neighborhood Watch program in Smiths Station

Residents launch Neighborhood Watch program in Smiths Station

SMITHS STATION, AL (WTVM) - A group of concerned citizens wants to help patrol the streets of Smiths Station for potential crimes.

Community members met with Lee County sheriff's officers to springboard the creation of a Neighborhood Watch, as part of the National Neighborhood Watch Institute.

Residents in the meeting say they simply want to keep their tight-knit community safe against drugs and criminal behavior.

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones attended the meeting as the group's special guest and ally in their effort to keep the streets of Smiths Station safe for everyone.

Jones addressed key points that group members, who are all ordinary citizens, need to remember the proper way of reporting crimes and notifying police.

However, Jones said he knows that with the advent of social media, the Lee County Sheriff's Office has the means to solve or even prevent certain crimes in the area.

"The key is communication between community members. Reporting suspicious activity, giving us information that helps us to identify and apprehend the individuals that are committing crimes in our communities," Jones said.

The Lee County Sheriff Office's top investigator, Capt. Van Jackson, also spoke to group members about making sure there is a constant dialogue between individual citizens and the Sheriff's office, so that law enforcement can do its job as efficiently as possible.

"We have a better relationship with people in the communities, and that they have a good understanding of what we do, how we do it, and how it's just a vital part of us being able to be successful...just having them involved," Jackson said.

Sheriff Jones went on to stress the role the neighborhood watch can play in preventing property crimes and can help significantly reduce the number of property crimes in the community.

Talking about the benefits of social media and mobile devices, Jones and his fellow officers also told the group to remind other community members they can anonymously report any crime.

All they have to do is call or report using the Lee County Sheriff's Office Mobile App.

The officers also told the group gathered in the meeting to share some safety tips with their neighbors, in order to avoid becoming victims of property crimes.

Those tips include installing video cameras, locking doors and even installing a screw into doors to frustrate potential burglars.

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