Dustin D. Heuerman, County Sheriff
The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office is very involved in community initiatives to help provide for a safer Champaign County. Below are a few of the community engagement initiatives in which we are engaged.
Law Enforcement Exploring is a hands-on program open to young men and women who have completed the 8th grade through 20 years old, interested in a career in law enforcement, corrections, or a related field in the criminal justice system.
The program offers young adults a personal awareness of the criminal justice system through training, practical experiences, competition and other activities. The program promotes personal growth through character development, respect for the rule of law, physical fitness, good citizenship and patriotism.
Neighborhood Watch Return to top
KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS OPEN!!
Report Suspicious Activity:
- Subjects looking into windows or parked cars.
- Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination or without lights.
- Strange vehicles parked in the area.
- Unusual noises.
- Briefly describe the event - what happened, when, where and who was involved.
- Describe the suspect - sex, race, age, height, weight, hair coloring, clothing, distinctive characteristics and last seen direction of travel.
- Describe the vehicle - color, make/model, year, license plate, distinctive characteristics and last seen direction of travel.
For more information and material on how to begin a Neighborhood Watch program contact:
Neighborhood Watch Coordinator
Deputy Shawn Hallett
Phone: (217) 384-1204
Lt. Curt Apperson
Phone: (217) 384-1215
You can form a Neighborhood Watch Group around any geographical unit - a block, an entire neighborhood, an apartment complex or a business area. Watch groups are not vigilantes, they are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors.
Any community resident can join - young or old, single or married, renter or homeowner. A few concerned residents or a community organization can spearhead the effort to organize a Neighborhood Watch. Participants learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood and report suspicious activities.
Starting a Neighborhood Watch
- Organize a small planning committee of neighbors to discuss needs, the level of interest and community problems.
- Contact the Champaign County Sheriff's Office Neighborhood Watch Coordinator to attend the meeting and share local crime trends and training opportunities.
- Hold an initial neighborhood meeting to gauge neighbors' interest, establish the purpose of the program and identify issues needing to be addressed.
- Ask for Block Captain volunteers who are responsible for relaying information to members.
- Establish a regular means of communication with Watch members - newsletters, email, telephone tree, etc.
- Prepare neighborhood maps showing names, addresses and phone numbers of participating households. Update information.
- With the guidance of the Crime Prevention Officer, members are trained in home security techniques, observation skills and crime reporting.
- Post Neighborhood Watch signs after consulting with the Sheriff's Office.
Tips for Success:
- Hold regular meetings to help residents get to know each other and to collectively decide upon program strategies and activities.
- Consider linking with an existing Homeowner's or Tenant Association.
- Maintain the liaison with the Champaign County Sheriff's Office a major source for crime patterns and educational information.
- Get the information out quickly. It needs to be timely and relevant. Share all kinds of news - quash rumors!
- Gather facts about crime in your neighborhood. Learn residents' perceptions about crime. Often residents' opinions are not supported by facts, and accurate information can reduce the fear of crime.
- Physical conditions like abandoned cars or overgrown vacant lots contribute to crime.
- Sponsor cleanups, encourage residents to beautify the area, ask them to turn on outdoor lights at night.
- It's essential to celebrate the effort and recognize volunteers' contributions.
Community Coalition Return to top
The Champaign County Community Coalition is a community initiative to help reduce the gun violence we are seeing in our county. In addition to community leaders meeting to discuss plans of action for tackling gun crimes, the Coalition also holds a monthly community meeting. These meetings are on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 3:30pm. Click here for more information on the Community Coalition.
Premise Alert Return to top
The Illinois Premise Alert Program is a program to provide first responders with vital information for people with special needs.
In Champaign County the Premise Alert Program is a collaborative effort among Champaign County law enforcement agencies, fire departments, METCAD and the Emergency Management Agency.
Citizens Police Academy Return to top
The Citizen Police Academy is an educational and informative program offered by the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois that allows citizens the opportunity to learn about the issues that face law enforcement in Champaign County.
The goals of the citizen academy are:
- To provide stronger citizen/police relationships
- To enhance lines of communication
- The reduction of crime in our community
TRIAD/S.A.L.T. Council Return to top
The TRIAD/S.A.L.T. Council is a cooperative effort among law enforcement agencies in Champaign County and the senior citizens who work and reside in the County. The Council acts in an advisory capacity to law enforcement by acting as the primary source of information on those issues most affecting seniors.
The emphasis of the Council is on reducing crime through the cooperative efforts of its seniors and law enforcement by expanding and implementing effective crime prevention and education programs
The TRIAD/S.A.L.T. Council holds a General Meeting every fourth (4th) Tuesday of each month. The meetings are held from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM at the Land of Lincoln Legal Aid Foundation, 302 N. First Street, Champaign. The public, especially senior citizens, are welcome to attend.
For more information on this widely praised program email your question(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org .