When Harrison County Sheriff George Payne took office back in the year 2000 there were five community crime watch programs countywide, today there are 55. That's a fact he's proud to report and he wants to see the number keep growing.
Recognizing stewards of neighborhoods, that was kind of the theme Sheriff Payne took to each neighborhood watch meeting.
"People who help us reduce crime, raise quality of life, and help neighbors. We have a low crime rate, and one of the reasons is because neighbors care about neighbors," Payne said.
In Saucier, at the Success community center, the sheriff explained how neighborhood watches contribute to enhance your quality of life.
"You all hear me if we don't know about it we can't solve it, and he will call if there is a problem in his neighborhood, and cares about his neighbors," Payne said.
Later Tuesday night, the Sheriff traveled to Deslie where Frank Baskett gave praise to the most successful community watch organization in the state.
This neighborhood watch has been responsible, in the last two years, for twelve felony arrests," Neighborhood watch director Frank Baskett said.
Tillman May was the recipient of a number of outstanding citizenship awards Tuesday. He noticed a burglary, got his neighbors property returned that night, and a habitual criminal is off the street.
"If you see somebody with their headlights turned off, get on the phone call these feelers, because they're up to no good, it's time about time we took our community back," May said
One way to do that, the sheriff says, is to take the problems of the community personally and get involved.
"Call your local police department, tell them you want to join a neighbor hood watch, you want to get involved in your community, you want to raise quality of life, you want to help reduce crime," Payne said.
Sheriff Payne finished up the night against crime by traveling to the Savanah place community where he present them an award for staying crime free for one year.