MADISON, Ala.- You don't have to be a nosy neighbor and you don't have to go looking for trouble. Madison police say it's easy and they want you to join the neighborhood watch.
"It was a Saturday afternoon, there wasn't a lot of workers in the neighborhood, it was just odd," Madison Police community relations officer Teresa Taylor-Duncan said.
Madison police officer Teresa Taylor-Duncan recently came home to find her garage door was open.
"My husband came home shortly after, I said 'did you leave the garage door open?' He said no," Taylor-Duncan said.
She noticed an unmarked white van in the neighborhood, and immediately went looking.
"I counted nine homes with garage doors open," Taylor-Duncan said.
She hasn't found the driver of the van, but was able to tip off her neighbors to lock up.
"Fear is paralyzing and if we can face those fears and understand how to interact with the community, home becomes a safe place," Taylor-Duncan said.
After a recent decline in participation, Madison police are once again doing some friendly recruiting, encouraging homeowners to join the neighborhood watch.
"Everyone kind of knows everyone, that's the first thing," Madison County resident Glenn McPherson said.
Madison police say just because you sign up for the neighborhood watch, it doesn't mean you have to walk around the neighborhood at 2:00 a.m. looking for burglars. They say it's no more complicated than watching for something out of place, such as a car you don't recognize parked outside your house.
"We increase our eyes of law enforcement exponentially with them out there," Taylor-Duncan said.
The city of Madison will provide the neighborhood watch sign and train anyone who signs up. If you'd like to find out more, you can call Madison police at (256)722-5676.