25 Feb Community Watch Information
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This page is a repository for information, recent announcements, and occasional bulletins related to the Fearrington Village Community Watch Program.
Visit Our Section on Being Safe On-Line.
ON-GOING ALERT: BE AWARE — Door to Door Solicitation — Protect Yourself: A Health, Safety, and Security Committee & Community Watch Advisory
From FEMA — Why It’s Important to Reinforce Overhead Garage Doors to protect your roof from severe windstorms, and how it can be done. Backgrounder on Preparing for a Tornado
Be sure to complete and turn in the (voluntary) FHA Emergency Information Registration Form (hot-linked just below). This information is a vital resource in case of an emergency.
- Voluntary Emergency Information Registration (Used to register the needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. Fill in Online.)
- Voluntary Emergency Information Registration (Used to register the needs and capabilities of residents during emergency conditions. Print and fill in by hand.)
Community Watch In Fearrington Village
The Fearrington Village Home Owners Association (FHA) currently has many of the components of a modern safe community program already in effect and is now beginning the process of updating, reorganizing, and, in some instances, adding to those components to create a more unified and improved program to further improve the quality of life in the community.
The FHA continues to enjoy a close working relationship with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department, whose officers continue to contribute much time, professional knowledge, and advice in all the planning and implementation of many facets of ensuring the health, safety, and security of our community. We deeply appreciate this excellent partnership.
Community Watch Officers with the Sheriff’s Office
Lt. Phillip Richard – Community Service/STAR/Community Watch
Lt. Stephen Renn
For examples of specific Community Watch program components, which are part of the national model, see the list below. Items in blue text below are linked to existing aspects of those programs here in Fearrington Village and/or in Chatham County. In the coming weeks and months, the FHA Health, Safety, and Security Committee and its other subcommittees (Community Emergency Response Team/CERT, and Road Safety) will be working together to improve the integration and implementation of these important interrelated initiatives and programs.
While ours is not a crime-ridden neighborhood, we are not immune from the risk and we all need to be vigilant. While rare, there have been several prior home burglaries (when leaving your home, you should lock your doors, close any open ground floor and garage windows and close/lock your garage doors). There have also been several incidents of items taken from unlocked vehicles in driveways (always lock vehicles when left outside and don’t leave valuables inside the vehicle), and several years ago prior incidents of vandalism at the Swim and Croquet Club. The Chatham County Sheriff’s Department does patrol our village, but Chatham County is very large.
The Community Watch program is an attempt both to ensure that, as neighbors, we look out for one another and to let any potential criminals know that someone is watching out for them. It is an extension of the strong sense of community that distinguishes Fearrington Village.
Be sure to complete and turn in the (voluntary) FHA Emergency Information Registration Form. This information is a vital resource in case of an emergency. See the hot-links for these forms at the top of this page.
Common sense things to remember if you are going to be away: Let the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office know and have your house put on house checks. (Call 919-542-2811 to do so); let your neighbor’s know and ask them to be an extra set of eyes on your homes; if you are going to be gone for an extended time either stop your newspaper delivery or have a neighbor pick the papers up for you; if you have a house alarm, let your alarm company know you will be away and have a secondary key holder available.
When to Call 911 and When Not to Call 911
Calling 911 is an important communications tool for emergencies. However, some citizens call 911 in non-emergency situations. This can cause the dispatch operator to miss a call of a person needing help. It is important to understand when to call and when not to call 911.
When To Call 911
- Medical emergency (examples: chest pain, extreme shortness of breath, uncontrolled bleeding).
- Motor vehicle accident.
- When a life is in danger.
When Not to Call
- The power is off.
- Asking for directions to the hospital.
- Asking for telephone numbers of others.
- Requesting to speak with a particular officer.
- Inquiring as to the time and day.
- Inquiring about community activities and locations.
- For more information about when to call and when not to call, please contact (919) 542-2811, the non-emergency number for our 911 service, and ask if someone can discuss the topic with you.
Be Proactive To Help Recover Lost or Stolen Merchandise
Be proactive before anything you lose valuable items (especially electronic equipment such as TVs, computers, Tablets, Smart Speakers, etc.) or in case such items are stolen from your home or auto. Here’s a Personal Property Inventory Form provided by the Sheriff’s Department for your convenience.
Make sure to keep a list of your valuables. Include the name of the items, model number, serial number, and manufacturer’s name. Use your phone or a camera to take a picture of these items AS WELL a photo OF THE SERIAL NUMBERS (if any) of each item. Keep the packing boxes the items came in — many boxes have the serial number printed on them.
This specific information will increase the likelihood of the police being able to recover your item(s). You will need such information at hand to be able to document your ownership both for recovery purposes and for documenting your insurance claim. In short, you need evidence and should record it before the goods are lost or stolen, when it’s then too late.
Consider also recording such documentation on an inexpensive thumb drive or flash drive, which you could easily and quickly hand over to the police to make their investigation easier and faster. Remember the longer you wait to file a report and reporting it without documentation, the harder it is to recover your property.
You might also want to consider reaching out to the pawn shops, thrift stores and second-hand retailers in the area. Introduce yourself ask for the General Manager and explain what has happened, give them a detailed list of what has been stolen and the contact info for the detective working your case. Be sure to include as much detail, including serial numbers, as possible and send pictures if you have them.
Examples of Basic Crime Prevention Strategies and Programs
- Distribute information and offer workshops on Community Watch Skills: Using Your Eyes & Ears
- Distribute information and offer workshops on Basic Home Security – Target Hardening to eliminate or reduce opportunities for crime
Examples of Emergency Preparedness Strategies and Programs
- Encouraging neighbors to register in ALERT CHATHAM / Code Red (reverse 911)
- Community CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Program
- Providing critical information on what to do when …. / who to contact if ….
- North Carolina’s SILVER ALERT program designed to quickly disseminate descriptive information about missing and endangered adults so that citizens in the affected area can be on the lookout and notify local law enforcement with any relevant information.
Examples of Building Stronger, Safer Community
- Education on personal safety about the home and out and about
- Considering lighting and emergency indicators
- Safety & Security On-Line (educating neighbors about on-line fraud, phishing, ID theft, etc.)
- Checking on people who live alone
- Safety for hearing impaired persons
- Considering traffic safety issues in the community
Strategies for Improving Community Watch
- Working to incorporate Block Captains
- Organizing a Celebration of Safe Communities (as part of a national program each October)
- Recognizing volunteers who have helped to build safer communities