Lynchburg police use National Night Out event to recruit, reactivate neighborhood watch groups

LPD says it's been three years since they've had an active watch group

LYNCHBURG, Va. – For the first time, Lynchburg police are using the National Night Out Against Crime event to recruit and reactivate some neighborhood watch groups.

"This is also an opportunity for people that don't have neighborhood watches within their local neighborhoods and stuff to come down and get that information that we can give them," Sgt. Gary Fink said. "And they can contact the Community Action Team and we can help them get a neighborhood watch started within their community or apartment complex."

Officers with the CAT say they have active neighborhood watch groups now, but it's been three years since they've had a large number of them.

Statistics in Lynchburg show, crime has gone down in the Hill City from July 2018 to July 2019.

But thefts from cars and destruction of property or vandalism have gone up.

Both spiking three times the rate compared to the year before.

Officers with the CAT team say it's been three years since they've had an active neighborhood watch group throughout the city.

At this moment, police have a number of how many neighborhood watch groups are still active. They're working to figure that out.

While there might not be a group formed in your neighborhood yet, police say find a number of people interested, establish block captains and officers will meet with you and hold 30 minute trainings.

"That way we're giving something to them that they have concerns in their area, it be vehicle larcenies, property damage, drug activity whatever it may be. We'll have a 30 minute block just for us to give them training and give them the perspective on where we're coming from," Fink said.

If you're interested in creating or joining a neighborhood watch group you can call the CAT team at 434- 942-0654.