Last week, I attended the kick-off meeting of the new Sharps Chapel Neighborhood Watch (5th District), chaired by Union County Sheriff Billy Breeding and five of his deputies. The police support was most impressive, as was the community support in attendance.
When: 2nd Thursday of each month, 7:00 PM
Where: Sharps Chapel Senior Center.
Everyone is encouraged to attend.
This is a great way to:
- Get to know our local police and how they operate to canvas our neighborhood
- Learn about recent crime activity in our neighborhood
- Meet neighbors to put a face with a name and hear their concerns
- Learn more about our neighborhood and local government through guest speakers (ex. District Attorney Jared Effler, etc.)
In this first meeting, I learned that Sheriff Breeding assigns his staff to zones. We are in District 5. We share an officer with District 3. Knowing this, helps explain where support comes from (and subsequently, how long it might take for them to arrive) when you put in a call for help.
There are three officers on patrol in the county at all times. Four officers from the hours of 3-11 pm.
Each month, Sheriff Breeding will report criminal activity for the last month. When asked where Sharps Chapel stood in terms of criminal activity, Sheriff Breeding said we were about middle of the road. For the month of August, the following crimes occurred:
- Theft on Sharps Chapel Rd.
- Stolen car at general store
- Domestic with arrest made
- Deceased female
- Deceased person
- Warrants & drugs on person
- Drug arrest
- Traffic stop with revoked license
- Traffic stop with probation
- and others
The top three crimes in our neighborhood are: domestic issues, theft, and burglaries. And of these, the hardest crimes to solve are thefts and burglaries. One way we as citizens can help is to keep a record of our individual property with make/model and serial numbers. He passed out a worksheet to help us document this more easily and advised us to keep it in a safe place. Then, when thefts occur, his department will be able to match the stolen goods to their rightful owners.
They also use the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database to track stolen equipment and work closely with local pawn shops.
How to Report Suspicious Activity
At this meeting, they passed out a list of contact phone numbers. But, if you are witness to a crime or suspect some unusual/suspicious activity, call one of the following:
- Union County Sheriff’s Office 865-992-5212
- Call their Crime Stoppers Tip Line (844-200-BUST) – this will allow you to report a crime anonymously. Your voicemail will be sent as an email directly to Sheriff Breeding within minutes.
Most Shocking Story
Sheriff Breeding related a story about a different District where the Hickory Point subdivision is located. There was one burglary where the entire contents of a house was stolen. EVERYTHING! This is something that our Sharps Chapel Neighborhood Watch can hopefully help prevent.
I plan on attending future meetings and encourage you to also attend and bring your neighbors.