Avondale Estates residents to implement mobile neighborhood watc - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Avondale Estates residents to implement mobile neighborhood watch


It might as well be a beefed up neighborhood watch, but for people who live in Avondale Estates, it's more than that.

A group called Citizens on Patrol will be made up of all volunteers, with more than 50 people have shown an interest in joining the group. They would patrol the streets in a refurbished police cruiser in teams of two. Their mission spot crime and call 911.

"They are not allowed to have any weapons of any kind," Corporal Paul Conroy said. "This is non-confrontational, strictly observe and report. If you see something we want you to go through standard 911 channels. If you see something suspicious let us take the steps to investigate it."

The group would be comprised of people who have already passed the city's eight-week Citizen's Police Academy classes.

The time citizens would be on patrol is Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Two teams of two would work four shifts.

If the situation arose, they could also help police secure roads during downed trees or help a stranded motorist. The retired police cruiser citizens will have its gas paid for by the city and the blue light will be switched out for an amber light. The words Citizen Patrol will also be marked on the cruiser.

"It is a pretty tight knit community to begin with," Matt Miller said. "This put us in a car and makes us more mobile."

Miller is a retired pilot and decided this would be a good way to spend some of his free time. Miller has helped city leaders bring this idea to light which is modeled off of similar programs across the country.

"I think the physical presence, with two people in it, of an official looking car says we are doing what we can and going above most communities by doing this," Miller said.

The measure still needs to be approved by the city council. Avondale Estates Police have 13 police officers and depending on this success of Citizens on Patrol, it could be expanded to add more patrols. All citizens will be required to complete routine training to volunteer in the program.

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