As citizens of this Great State of Texas we have the right as well as patriotic duty to protect our selves and property. We cannot become complacent and expect others to do what each of us must accept some responsibility for. If we as a society are willing to ignore obvious criminal activity then we should not be surprised or angered when we are directly and indirectly affected. The more crime we are willing to accept in our communities then the more crime we should expect. We must work together with local law enforcement to better safeguard our families and property.
Be a good neighbor by doing your part to improve the safety in your area and throughout the county. Participation in the PWP requires little precious time, a focus on awareness of suspicious activity while driving to work, school, town or church can have a tremendous impact on crime detection and prevention. Join us in our efforts in improving and maintaining a safer and higher quality of life for everyone in Van Zandt County.
The Precinct Watch Program teaches members techniques to reduce the risk of being victimized at home, in their vehicles and in public places. Through attending meetings and special training, members are able to recognize suspicious activities, evaluate situations, and learn how to properly report them.
Precinct Watch operates most effectively at the neighborhood level, so the county has been divided up into small geographical areas called “sectors” where residents can become more unified and work together to protect their area. Sector members attend monthly meetings within each of the county’s four precincts.
Membership in the PWP is open to all citizens of Van Zandt County, who pass a limited background check, and are at least 21 years old.
Van Zandt County is 859 sq. miles in size, 70 percent the size of Rhode Island, with a population of 55,000 people. Approximately 97 percent of the crimes in the county are property crimes, meaning burglary, theft or auto theft. Due to manpower shortages at the Sheriff’s Office in the last five years almost 85 percent of those crimes have gone unsolved. There is no doubt the Crime Response is strictly the job of the Sheriff’s Office. With only two deputies on patrol, one covering the county north of I-20 and the other covering the county south of I-20, most of their time is spent in crime response rather than crime prevention. In order to help to reduce the crime rate and help solve crimes, the Sheriff’s Office needs citizen involvement by being additional eyes and ears and reduce opportunity for crime. Thus the Precinct Watch Program has been formed.