Syracuse has an active Neighborhood Watch program and it is a major success. Citizens can get first hand information to answer their law enforcement questions, and communication between the department and neighborhoods is enhanced. Additionally, the Neighborhood Watch publishes a seasonal newsletter with crime fighting tips and other useful information.
The County has no such program, although the Sheriff’s Office website says there is. There is no reason why concerned citizens can’t have a forum for connecting with one another and the Deputies in their towns. Why the Sheriff’s Office won’t coordinate this is beyond me. Residents often know best what is happening in their communities, and ignoring their intelligence is foolhardy. More times than I would have thought possible, people have approached me on the campaign trail to tell me that there are drug spots operating in their towns, but no one at the Sheriff’s Office seems interested or has responded to their complaints. Additionally, although the Sheriff’s Department website urges visitor’s to “See Something, Say Something,” it does not provide an easy way to relay information to the Sheriff.
When I become Sheriff, we will take full advantage of the information provided by informed citizens. Channels of communication will be clear, open, and two-way. I look forward to serving our communities by working with those folks who support our efforts to make our County safer.