The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a few volunteers, community crime watch volunteers.
In south Winnsboro a community crime watch is starting up again after a period where the group had declined.
The group meets on the second Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. a the Community Fire Station.
These groups give citizens time to speak with the officers on a regular basis and inform them of concerns with particular types of crime, activities at suspicious locations, or traffic concerns to name a few topics.
The community input is treated in confidence by the sheriff’s officers.
The resurgence of community watch groups is happening thanks to a cooperation between the sheriff’s department and local fire stations, who often provide meeting sites.
Corporal Ron Mull and corporal D.J. Wilson with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office act as liaisons with the community.
Mull said years ago that there was grant funding to help with community organization and community watch programming but now the role is being filled by sheriff’s deputies as part of their work.
One role they fill is educational.
“We get together and let them know about crime in the area and things to be looking out for,” Mull said.
Presentations have come from DNR, the zoning commission, and from recycling centers in the past.
They also pass along leads to appropriate officers such as narcotics officers, officers at th eS.C. Department of Natural Resources or the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
“Our goal is to get as much information to the people as we can,” Mull said.
Mull said that the officers get out there and try to patrol problem areas as much as possible. The group has changed meeting times and locations in the past to better facilitate citizen’s work schedules.
There have been 24 community crime watch groups in all that meet in different areas, though some groups are in the process of being consolidated. The Blackjack area around Pump House, Reservoir Road and Jackson Creek has been consolidated recently.
Five places throughout the county where groups meet are:
• Dutchman Creek at the Fire Station on River Road. That group meets on the first Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m.
• The Dawkins Community meets at a church on Dawkins Road on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.
• A group meets at the Arms Apartments on the third Wednesday of every month in the office there. The apartments are located by Kincaid Bridge.
• A group meets at Longtown at the church next to the ballfield on Park Road. That group meets the fourth Tuesday of every month.
Mull said the department is interested in getting some more crime watch groups up and running.
If anyone is interested in bringing a crime-watch to their neighborhood or community, Mull asks that they call the sheriff’s office at 635-4141 and speak to himself or to Wilson.