Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH programs are becoming increasingly popular.

Martins Ferry is the latest Ohio Valley community attempting to launch the venture. It is a concept that has worked extremely well throughout the area and one that could definitely assist Martins Ferry authorities.

Police in the Purple City have been pushed to the limit, battling a spike in breaking and enterings.

Crime watch programs took a recent hit in Florida where Trayvon Martin, a black teen, was shot and killed by a community watch coordinator. Such an incident is an exception to the rule as we don’t expect Ferry crime watch participants to be packing loaded weapons as was the case in Florida.

So far, the initiative in Ferry has encountered a lukewarm start in some parts of the community. Another meeting was staged Tuesday night to galvanize the efforts in the third ward.

We credit the Martins Ferry Police Department for championing the cause. Chief John McFarland and Sgt. Beth Scales have taken the lead in sparking the interest of city residents.

It behooves Ferrians to take an active role in the protection of their family, homes and property as well as those of their neighbors.

Budget shortcomings have local police forces stretched to the limit. A lack of manpower has police departments handcuffed in providing as much protection as they would like. Ferry is a sprawling town which creates an added burden on police patrols.

Tips from citizens can prove invaluable to police investigations. Such information can go a long way to eventual arrests and subsequent convictions.

We urge Martins Ferrians to take a more passionate role in the safeguarding of their city. They need to keep their homes and vehicles locked and secured, while also filling the role as crime watch activists.