Neighborhood Watch meeting scheduled
STAUNTON -- Residents interested in taking part in the Staunton Neighborhood Watch are encouraged to attend the group's first meeting Thursday.
Clay County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Rob Gambill recently approached the Staunton Town Council saying residents in the town were interested in forming the group.
"We've had a few people ask about it," Gambill said. "(The meetings will be) informal. It will be a few people getting together, discussing things. Sometimes, (neighborhood watches) become a 501(C)3 organization."
Gambill said the meeting will take place at the Staunton Community Center and will begin at 7 p.m.
"We'll gauge interest to see what we do from here," Gambill said. "(Maintaining it) is going to depend on how much interest there is."
Gambill said essentially, a neighborhood watch gets residents involved in their town. He said phone trees are typically used. For example, if someone sees unusual behavior, they would then inform another resident and eventually, the information gets to a law enforcement liaison, who works with the neighborhood watch.
"If (residents) see an actual crime occurring, they need to call 911 immediately," Gambill said. "We never ask (residents) to take law enforcement action. They're just another set of ears and eyes out there for local law enforcement.
"We don't want to make it where neighbors are spying on each other."
Gambill said meetings may take place on a monthly basis in the future. He added those involved will also learn about crime prevention tips and other items, such as how to make homes safe.
"When it gets organized, (the meetings) could be less," Gambill said.
He said Thursday's meeting is not just for Staunton residents.
"The township residents are invited as well and other community members may come as well," he said. "We'll talk about how things will have to be organized."
Anyone interested in attending Thursday's meeting or learning more about neighborhood watches is encouraged to contact Gambill at email@example.com or by calling 448-9048 Ext. 103.