Sheriff addresses St. Ignatius Neighborhood Watch
News from St. Ignatius Neighborhood Watch group
ST. IGNATIUS — When in doubt, make the call, said Lake County Sheriff Don Bell. Bell was addressing the St. Ignatius Neighborhood Watch meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 17, in the St. Ignatius Senior Citizens Center.
Bell was responding to queries from persons who wanted to know when it was right to call to report suspicious activity. Law enforcement representatives at the meeting told about instances where calls about minor suspicious activities turned out to be major criminal cases.
Chapter president Mack McConnell reminded those present that the number to call for prompt response is the dispatch office of the sheriff’s department. In major emergencies, the number to call is 911. Other calls requesting prompt responses should be to (406) 883-7301. That is also a dispatch office number that is answered right away. Sheriff’s officers respond and then the cases are later turned over to the St. Ignatius Police Department if appropriate. Calls to the town police department are not usually answered immediately and response can be delayed for hours or even days.
Methamphetamine addiction is the cause of the majority of the serious crimes in the county, according to Bell. He said the perpetrators of those crimes are not easily deterred and so people need to be especially vigilant. Motion lights, safes, engraving valuables and other crime preventive measures were discussed. The chapter plans to contact the national Neighborhood Watch organization and local entities to see what can be done about getting signs, banners pamphlets and other items and projects that may help get the word out and attract more local participation.
At last month’s chapter meeting, McConnell was elected president and Town Council Member Daren Incashola was elected vice president. The St. Ignatius Neighborhood Watch meets every third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the St. Ignatius Senior Citizens Center at 212 North Main. The public is encouraged to attend. For more information, call McConnell at (406) 745-4151.