Watch Groups Patrolling Their Communities in Josephine County

, Posted: Mon, November 18 2013 at 6:19 PM, Updated: Mon, November 18 2013 at 6:22 PM

In the last few months, a hit and run case which killed two men remains unsolved as does a murder where a man was found dead in the roadway.

Add to that an arson fire an a string of robberies.

Cave junction has it's hands full in terms of crime.

That's among the reasons that this community has become just the latest to start patrols with citizens.

"We are trying to be proactive instead of reactive," says Sam Nichols of Citizens Against Crime.

He organizers efforts in O'Brien and says it's working there.

"Ours has been so successful in 15 months to lowering the crime to almost zero," he says.

The Cave Junction Dick George neighborhood patrol group is hoping to help  their area that seems to be prone to crime lately.

"If they did effectively patrol, I would project in 3 months that they would cut their crime rate 50%," says Nichols.

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson of the Josephine County Sheriff's Office is in support of the groups.

Especially since several failed tax levies have forced a cut to his department.

Gilbertson says "Safety in numbers as a collective group of people protecting each other is more likely to send that criminal somewhere else, isn't that what you want?"

But he supports only so long as these citizens follow the law.

He says "if they do what they law prescribes in terms of how much force you can use in given situations and so forth follow what's prescribed in Oregon statute you're going to be okay."

The Dick George group has a 10 person crew that are patrolling at various hours, sunset to sunrise, hoping to watch out for their neighbors when law enforcement lacks the resources to do it.

Not anyone can join these patrol groups.     

They do have a list of requirements plus have to go through training.

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