RINCON, Ga. (WTOC) - The Rincon Police Department is rolling out a new home watch program to keep residents and neighborhoods safe.
The department is holding a public summit Thursday night at Compassion Christian Church to educate the community on how the program will work.
Rincon Police Chief Mark Gerbino says the program is designed to give residents in neighborhoods a platform in the city. He says Thursday’s summit is also a way for the department to provide residents with the first steps and a foundation to set up their own watch groups within their own neighborhoods.
"I’ve got two kids, and I’m always worried about them,” Dr. Richard Taylor said.
Taylor has been living in Rincon for years. He says though the area is safe for the most part, with the Rincon Police Department launching a new home watch program, it’s a great way to educate people on what to look out for in the future.
"I think it’s a great thing to try and educate the citizens of Rincon, and hopefully the county, and maybe get us more aware and start thinking not to be so comfortable in such a safe place because unfortunately, bad things are starting to happen,” Taylor said.
"Neighborhood watch is about neighbors helping neighbors. This is a non-confrontational police and citizen interaction, and there’s nothing better than that because these officers, these kids that we have out there protecting society, they’re really nice people, and people get a chance to engage with them,” Chief Gerbino said.
Chief Gerbino says residents who are a part of the program will just stick a sign in their yard.
"This gives a clear message to anyone that you, the resident of that house, are aware, and works to make their neighborhood safe,” Chief Gerbino said.
He says not only does he hope the program will promote crime prevention, but he hopes it will create a stronger law enforcement-resident relationship within the community.
"When they have their own neighborhood group, which we hope will spawn out of this, they’ll be walking the street with a police officer. They’ll be going to meeting with police officers. The children will be with police officers, and that uniform citizen connection will be one of peace and civility,” Chief Gerbino said.
It’s an initiative Taylor says is important because the law enforcement can’t be everywhere all the time.
"You're always thinking about safety of your kids, but you should also think about the safety of yourself and your neighbors,” Taylor said.
The summit starts at 6 p.m. at Compassion Christian Church in Rincon. It will run until 9 p.m.
If you can’t make it, Chief Gerbino says this won’t be the last summit. Anyone who does attend will receive one of the Rincon home watch yard signs.