FARRAGUT (WATE) – Neighbors in West Knox County learned Thursday night how to help prevent crime in their area.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office met with several homeowners’ associations and neighborhood watch groups at Farragut Town Hall. Neighbors say an interesting discussion item was the RAIDS Online crime mapping program, which shows you all the crimes that have happened in your area recently.
More online: RAIDS Online crime mapping tool
Cathy Gibson helped start a neighborhood watch group in her area three years ago. While she has seen her share of incidents, the sheriff’s office says one of the big problems neighborhoods like hers face are car burglaries.
“Everybody’s in such a hurry going different places, and so we forget those little expensive items we’ve got in our cars. You’ve got to take them out,” said Gibson.
The focus of Thursday night’s meeting was to let residents know about the crime mapping system and other ways they can find out what’s going on in their area.
“That’s what this was all about, sharing information. We can’t do the job we do by ourselves,” said Chief Lee Tramel.
Tramel says this area sees more property crimes like shoplifting than violent ones, but he does say the drug problem is a big reason for crime in Knox County.
“The opiate epidemic that we’re facing right now as a community and as a society, we feel it’s driving all of our crime. It’s very dangerous for our community,” he said.
Gibson was surprised to see how many incidents have happened in the area. She says she will now keep more of her things under lock and key. She also wants more neighbors to be a part of these conversations and groups to help cut down on crime.
“It will slow it down some, but I don’t think it will prevent it or stop it. No,” she said.
The sheriff’s office has had other meetings in Powell and Halls and will have more soon. With the holiday season approaching, they suggest locking your car, hiding any packages when you go shopping and parking in well lit areas.