DuPont is partnering with a county sheriff’s office in Iowa to establish the state’s first Farm Watch program to enhance security and safety of rural residents and farmers. DuPont and the Story County Sheriff’s Office will work together in this off-shoot of the National Sheriffs’ Association’s Neighborhood Watch and Farm Watch.
“Farm Watch helps reduce opportunities for crime to occur in farming and rural communities,” said Paul Fitzgerald, Story County Sheriff. “Essential to this is encouraging people to report suspicious incidents to law enforcement officials as they occur and also share the information with other Farm Watch members. As well as helping to deter crime, this strengthens community spirit with everyone working together to protect their property.”
“Farmers often have a great deal of capital spread over a large expanse of land,” explained John Pieper, director of the DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol Development Program Office. “Some stock and equipment is portable and can be relatively easy to steal. While property can never be made totally secure, becoming a Farm Watch member undoubtedly reduces the risk of becoming a victim of farming or rural crime. DuPont has a vested interest in central Iowa and wants to help enhance the safety and security for all community members.”
DuPont says the goals of the program include: reducing opportunities for crime to occur in farming and rural communities; strengthening community spirit; improving communication between the farming community and the police; and encouraging people to report suspicious incidents as they occur.
Farm Watch will also offer practical crime prevention advice to farmers and landowners, to help ensure their property and goods are as secure as possible, as well as providing a marking system and signs to indicate participation in the program.
There will be an informational meeting on March 6, 2014, at the Gates Memorial Hall in Nevada, Iowa from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.