Neighborhood Watch Tries to Remain Proactive

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JEFFERSON CITY - Cutting down on crime without adding new police officers. The Jefferson City Police Department found neighborhood watch groups are helping cut down on crimes. Whether it's an extra set of eyes patrolling the streets or a group of citizens putting up signs on street corners, officers said anything helps.

Crime Prevention Office Kevin Kempker has been working with neighborhood watch groups for about five years in Jefferson City.  Kempker said the number of neighborhood watch groups is evolving at a steady rate. "It's about empowering that extra set of eyes to not only help your neighborhood, but also the Police Department" said Kempker.

Kempker is working to get neighborhood watch programs to be more efficient and proactive in Jefferson City. "I'm constantly walking through neighborhoods and putting up door hangers in areas where I don't have organized watch groups in an effort to get them to organize. It's a struggle" added Kempker.

Up Highway 63 in Moberly, Police Chief Russell Tarr is combating the same problem. This spring, the Moberly area saw a rash of vandalism but found ways to deal with the problem. Instead of acting alone, Tarr and Moberly citizens joined up with City Manager Andrew Morris to not only discuss neighborhood watch groups, but also neighborhood associations, which work to beautify certain areas of the city.

The Magic City Crime Watch group is a key asset to help the Moberly Police Department fight crime. They consistently report crime to the police department and keep a watchful eye out for suspicious activity in and around Moberly. Tarr said, "Crime is greatly reduced and I met yesterday with the Magic City group to discuss how we are making a difference."

Tarr urges any Moberly resident who wants to join or start a neighborhood watch to call the police department at 660-263-0346.