Community Watch drivers are now patrolling more than 1 million miles per year in The Villages.
Community Watch Chief Nehemiah Wolfe offered that impressive statistic along with many others during a presentation Friday before a large group of community development district supervisors.
“The bad guys know that Community Watch, along with law enforcement, is in place. It is a big, big plus for The Villages,” said Wolfe, former district commander in The Villages for the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.
The white Community Watch trucks, which pass through each neighborhood in The Villages at least twice a day, are the most visible part of Community Watch. But there are many others behind the scenes keeping a watchful eye over The Villages.
The attendants at 23 staffed gatehouses in The Villages are also part of Community Watch. Like the personnel in patrol vehicles, gate attendants are usually the first to bird dog incidents that need the attention of law enforcement, like impaired drivers or dementia patients who have lost their way.
The behind-the-scenes Community Watch personnel monitor cameras and perform other important duties.
The Adult Watch program, operated by Community Watch, is a service provided for residents who live alone or residents with a partner who needs someone to give them a call to make sure they are in good standing.
“This is important for residents whose families may be far away. They appreciate the program,” Wolfe said.
He noted that Adult Watch was particularly valuable during 2017’s Hurricane Irma.
“Sometimes they need to hear another voice on the phone,” Wolfe said.
Last year, Community Watch handled more than 285,000 calls, including assisting residents, house checks and animal-related incidents.