Program puts spotlight on crime in Marion Co.

Marion, SC - By Brandon Herring

MARION, SC (WMBF) – A group of citizens in Marion has organized a new crime watch program in hopes that it will make the city safer. The program is called Fox Watch.

Organizers say the crime watch effort officially formed in 2009. Fox Watch leaders and other volunteers are now based out of a high-visibility office in downtown Marion.

Fox Watch secretary Abby Calder said the concerned citizens want to do something get members of the community involved in watching out for crime. She said the goal of the group is to take a preventive approach to reduce crime.

"It's just letting everybody know we are planning on protecting our little community," Calder said. "We're shooting for zero crime."

Fox Watch leaders have also put out yard signs with a tip line on them. They hope the signs will help spread the word about the program. Leaders plan to move the signs in clusters from one neighborhood to the next.

Fox Watch organizers hope citizens will call the Fox Watch tip line to report anything that concerns them. If someone has concerns but they are not sure if police should be called, the tip line is a way to report those concerns. The volunteers want to hear about it so proactive steps can be taken.

Tips received by Fox Watch will then be on to the Marion Police Department.

"Hopefully we'll grow and get a lot more people involved," Calder said. "We just want to make Marion a safe place to live."

Fox Watch also hopes to expand and create a youth crime watch organization.

To help pay for those expansion ideas and other expenses, such at the downtown office space, Fox Watch is having a yard sale fundraiser on Saturday morning. It will be at the corner of Withlacoochee Avenue and McEachern Heights.

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