1 S. London St  Mt. Sterling, Ohio 43143
Billy Martin, Mayor
Mount Sterling, Ohio
Community Block Watch
Start A Watch Group in 5 Easy Steps

1.Recruit and Organize as many neighbors as possible 
It is wonderful that you are taking the steps to start a Neighborhood Watch group in your neighborhood. The first step is talking to your fellow neighbors about starting a group.

2.Contact your local law enforcement agency and schedule a meeting 
The next step is contacting your local law enforcement agency. Invite them to meet with your group at a time and place convenient for your Watch Group. It is essential for your group to work in collaboration with law enforcement because Neighborhood Watch is a cooperative effort.

3.Discuss community concerns and develop an action plan 
If law enforcement is unavailable to come to the first meeting you might want to have a meeting to discuss the concerns and issues in the neighborhood. Your group should create a plan on how to work towards lessening the impact of the top 3 concerns of neighbors.

There are wonderful resources that you can use to guide you. Become a National Neighborhood Watch Member to gain access. Click here to join today. 

4.Create a communication plan 
It is important to decide what type of communication will work for your watch group - meetings or social media or both. Our publication on Advances in Technology Take Watch Groups to the Next Level will help you to understand what resources are out there.

5.Take Action: Hold Meetings and Events 
Neighborhood Watch Toolkit has a number of wonderful training topics and meeting ideas that can be useful to your group.

What are some of the benefits of starting a Watch Group?
•Partnerships with Law Enforcement and your Neighbors
•Reduction in Crime
•A More Secure and Better Prepared Hometown
•A More United Community
•Improved Communications

Neighborhood watch grew out of a movement in the USA during the late 1960s that promoted greater involvement of citizens in the prevention of crime. Recent estimates suggest that over a quarter of the UK population and over 40% of the US population live in areas covered by neighborhood watch schemes. The current paper presents the results of a recent systematic review of evaluations of neighborhood watch. The main findings of the narrative review were that about half of the schemes evaluated showed that neighborhood watch was effective in reducing crime, with most of the other evaluations having uncertain effects. The main findings of the meta-analysis were that 15 of the 18 studies provided evidence that neighborhood watch reduced crime. While the results of the review are encouraging, it was concluded that more high-quality research needs to be done to help explain why study variations exist.
Does neighborhood watch reduce crime?
The National Neighborhood Watch – A Division of the National Sheriffs' Association Official Statement

National Neighborhood Watch (formerly USAonWatch) does not advocate watch members taking any action when observing suspicious activity in their neighborhood. Community members only serve as the extra “eyes and ears” and should report their observations of suspicious activities to their local law enforcement. Trained law enforcement should be the only ones ever to take action; citizens should never try to take action on those observations. National Neighborhood Watch (formerly USAonWatch) encourages all watch groups to register with our national database where multiple resources are made available to assist in the training and maintaining of Neighborhood Watch groups and its members.

Next Meeting Date
David Tmmons  - Block Watch Chair
Mt. Sterling leaders push for block watch participation

By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer

In the wake of the fatal shooting of two Westerville police officers, Mount Sterling village leaders are talking about ways to protect the law enforcement personnel who serve the local community.

The topic was raised at the Feb. 12 village council meeting, two days after Westerville police officers Eric Joering, 39, and Anthony Morelli, 54, were shot and killed when they responded to a 911 call.

“After what happened in Westerville, I think it makes people realize the danger that you face 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect us,” said council member David Timmons, referring to the Madison County sheriff’s deputies who provide law enforcement services to Mount Sterling. “Unfortunately, I don’t think people really realize this until something bad happens. I just want you to know I appreciate what you do for us.”

Council member Tom Ward echoed Timmons’ sentiments and talked about how the community can help.

“The block watch is up and running, and we have had a lot of people sign up, but we need more,” Ward said. “It is important for people to understand that this is about neighbors helping neighbors… I want to help protect (our law enforcement officers) and I want to see (them) go home every day.”

Ward said the block watch is designed to be an additional set of eyes for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. Mayor Billy Martin wants residents to get involved.

“Now it is time for Mount Sterling residents to be accountable instead of just complaining,” Martin said. “Jump in and help. You might even enjoy it.”

Keeping with the theme of accountability, council discussed nuisance and abatement issues and their efforts to address continuing problems.

“Residents should know, if you have junk, trash, piles of wood or tree limbs, we are working on getting rid of those things,” said Jack Dill, the village’s parks and recreation director and a deputy with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. “We are working on a front porch ordinance, and we will be nice about it, but firm.”

Council member Tammy Vansickle said residents can go to http://www.mtsterling.org/ to anonymously submit complaints about properties. Residents also can submit complaints through the village’s Facebook page.

“When I ran for mayor, I said accountability and transparency. Now it is your turn,” Martin said. “Some of the households in this community look terrible and disgusting. It is (not fair) to a person who is trying to keep their home nice (to have) a mess next door. We won’t tolerate it anymore.”

Finishing up the accountability theme, Misty Vance, utilities clerk, gave an update on unpaid water bills.

“Right now, we still have around $6,500 in delinquent payments,” Vance said. “These bills are very past due. Some are even from 2010.”

According to Vance, when she first started working for the village in 2017, Mount Sterling residents owed approximately $19,000 in unpaid water bills.

“We also are willing to make payment arrangements and have set some of those up,” Vance said. “There is no reason to get (your water) shut off. We work more with people than other utilities and are willing to work with people.”