ECSO encourages involvement in neighborhood watch groups

neighborhood watch

Pensacola, Fla. (WEAR) - The Escambia County Sheriff's Office is encouraging residents to get involved in keeping their neighborhoods safe.

On Tuesday the sheriff's office hosted a neighborhood watch academy to teach folks how to handle different situations.

The academy covered more than just keeping an eye on your neighbor's house.

It also tackled more serious, dangerous situations.

It's a valuable evening a few dozen residents took advantage of.

For instance, Mia Bobet is a doctor and owns her own practice.

She wants to be prepared to handle any situation.

Bobet said, "In terms of what if there's an active shooting in my office or in my neighborhood and how I can act in a situation like that."

The academy did address the issue of how to handle active shooter scenarios.

ECSO Chief Deputy Chip Simmons said these type of scenarios are one of many they teach.

Simmons wants people to always have a watchful eye.

"We can't be everywhere and we need a neighborhood that is serious about their own neighborhood, serious about raising their own family in a safe and healthy environment and to do them we have to work together," Simmons said.

The sheriff's office wants people of all ages to be ready.

Simmons said, "There are more single mothers. There are more; mothers often times are taking care of children, walking children and we want to make sure that we don't just concentrate on the neighborhood as a whole but we also concentrate on specific houses."

It's important watch groups share information with authorities not just with each other or online.

Richard Miller, a neighbor watch president in Escambia County, encourages people to take time to get to know their neighbors.

Miller said, "We're just a much more friendly community now then we used to be and so of course if you're friendly with people then you're going to be more concerned about their well being."

Alert ID is a service that helps identify crime in where you live.

It allows people to search reported crimes in neighborhoods including theft, assaults and registered sex offenders.

The feature is free.

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