Mobile Watch Volunteers Help Police Protect Whitehall


Volunteers are helping Whitehall police protect the city.

Tracey Heise and Janice Ritchey are two of five volunteers that patrol the streets of Whitehall.

“We stop and talk to people that don’t know about us,” Ritchey said. “If they wave us down, we tell them about us.”

“We’ll listen to calls and if there is a robbery or something and they’re looking for suspects, we’ll go out and help look for them,” Heise said.

The mobile watch program is a police-backed program gaining ground after a year on the streets.

The volunteers are armed with only a radio and some basic training.

“(They) help find lost children, remind residents to do the little things like closing your garage door, locking your cars,” Whitehall Police Officer Ed Rickels said.

The mobile watch group is looking for more volunteers because they understand police can’t be everywhere.

“Especially if they’re on calls and they’re tied up,” Heise said. “That still makes us mobile and to be able to look for other things that might be happening.”

The mobile community watch can actually save the city money, as well.

Whitehall police have to check every street lamp to make sure they are working.

While the volunteers are out, if they see one that doesn’t work, they can tag it so the power company can come fix it.

Protecting Whitehall residents is the top priority for the group.

“Help preventing crime definitely is a goal and I think we’re accomplishing it,” Heise said.

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