Sheriff’s office encourages neighbors to join watch groups

Neighbors are taking safety into their own hands. They are banding together to keep an eye out for crime, and that’s exactly what authorities want you to do.

We sometimes get caught up in running errands, taking our kids to school, which can get in the way of building a rapport with our neighbors. That’s what one law enforcement agency is encouraging everyone to do to reduce crime.

“If you see something, say something, said Stacey Payne, director of community relations at Lee County Sheriff’s Office. “Call it in, or report it.

As the population in Southwest Florida grows, presumably, crime will as well.

To combat crime, LCSO encourages neighbors to join watch groups and keep an eye out while doing tasks like walking their dog. Right now, the sheriff’s office says there are 600 neighborhood watch programs operating across Lee County.

Van Coleman live just a few streets away from the scene of a recent home invasion in Cape Coral.

“There was two guys that broke into a house,” Coleman said. “It was like 10 a.m. The guy was still in bed.”

Sine the, Coleman has been on guard, always on lookout for anything suspicious.

“If something happens, I see something; I need a number,” Coleman said.

And that’s exactly what the sheriff’s office want all neighbors to do: More eyes and ears on the road can make communities safer for everyone.

“Instead of just maybe burying your nose in your phone or listening to your music, be observant when you’re out walking,” Payne said.

And unlike a recent social media post asking about “deputizing” volunteers, the sheriff’s office does not want neighbors to engage.

“The only thing we want people to make is a phone call,” Payne said. “We do not want anyone to confront any suspicious person.”

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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