SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Convicted felons and possible sex offenders are behind bars all thanks to recent tips from residents.
The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department and Savannah-Chatham Counter Narcotics agents are now stressing the importance of community involvement after those arrests.
Drug agents and police both said the community help is invaluable to their success. Joining your neighborhood watch allows us to feel a sense of involvement in our neighborhood that we might not otherwise get.
Nick Palumbo is the Ardsley Park neighborhood association's president. A job he takes very seriously. His reason for getting involved is simple.
"I absolutely love this city. I love this community and looking for new and exciting ways to give back," said Palumbo.
Giving back can be just one phone call. Recent calls led to major busts. In fact, CNT agents say a handful of their recent raids started from those tips.
"These are your neighborhoods. You know who belongs there, what vehicles, belong there and a lot of times it comes down to using common sense," said CNT Sgt. Gene Harley.
Residents start neighborhood watches with oversight from police. If it were up to police, every neighborhood would have one.
"We have a lot more participation we want from the community itself. That's the only way we're definitely going to get a hold on the crime," said SCMPD APO Sherrell Brown.
For Palumbo, he sees the benefits on a daily basis. Whether it's someone caught pulling door handles or looking in windows, he knows his neighbors are looking out for each other.
"So we have 3,000 eyes and ears on the neighborhood. It's a very expressive way to communicate between neighborhood associations and our neighbors and with the police department, too," said Palumbo.
That involvement is exactly what law enforcement hopes for when it comes to community policing.
"Some people think 'oh, I don't want to bother the police.' We would rather you take the initiative, call us, let us check it out, instead of not saying something and something happening later," said Sgt. Harley.
"It allows you to know who lives next door. It allows you to take a little more of a part in what goes on in your neighborhood. Security and safety are mainly what everybody wants," said APO Brown.
Security and safety that are more attainable when you and your neighbors are looking after each other.
It's almost like a broken record from law enforcement but they can't stress their motto of "see something, say something" enough. They said you never know what kind of illegal activity you can prevent just by getting involved.
You can always remain anonymous when you call CrimeStoppers at 912.234.2020.