DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – The Darlington Police Department wants to start neighborhood watch programs targeted to apartment communities in the city.
Darlington Police Chief Danny Watson explained the program and benefits in a Facebook video, encouraging people to create watch groups and choose a block leader. While Chief Watson says police have not seen an increase in crime lately, the reinvigoration of the neighborhood watch program comes after a shooting on King Edwards Street.
Two men reportedly shot into a home on King Edwards Street Saturday afternoon. That shooting was reported just one block away from where two men were killed in a shooting near Southern Pines and Kirven Street in June.
The Pine Village Apartment complex is near the area of both crimes and Chief Watson says the complex has a lot of foot traffic and has had problems in the past. For residents within the apartment complex who want to see less crime or loitering, Watson suggests forming a watch group.
Darlington Police want more people to get involved in the Crime Watch Program. Police have partnered with the Housing Authority to start a Crime Watch at four different apartment complexes.
Housing Authority Executive Director Jaime Steen says the agency is starting a watch group to keep families in the neighborhood safe.
“We want them to be able to go outside and play,” explains Steen. “We want our seniors to be able to sit outside on their porches and not be afraid of other people coming through and making it an unsafe place.”
Chief Danny Watson says the department will help crime watch groups get started.
“If people that are up to no good realize that people are watching, they are aware and care about their neighbors, they are less likely to go there,” predicts Chief Watson.
Watson recommends a Block Leader to organize each neighborhood watch group. He says there is no training involved, officers just need all the eyes and ears they can have to support safe neighborhoods.
“We never recommend anybody going out and meeting someone on their own footing as far as trying to deal with a crime,” warns Chief Watson. “That’s what we’re here for. All that we’re asking for is a very passive type of surveillance. If you see something, say something.”
If you would like to organize or get involved with the Crime Watch Program, visit or call the Darlington Police Department at 843-398-4026. There are currently 10 Watch groups.