Chester, Illinois - Home of Popeye

Neighborhood Watch Program

July 14, 2009

Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and most well-known crime prevention concepts in North America. The program has roots dating back to the days of colonial settlements, when night watchmen patrolled the streets.
In the late 1960s, Neighborhood Watch came to prominence due to an increase in crime rates. The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) saw a need for a neighborhood crime prevention organization and created the National Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972 to assist citizens and law enforcement.

The Chester Police Department will be taking an active role in working with any citizen of citizens interested in establishing a Neighborhood Watch Program. Both Deputy Chief Helmers and I will be available to meet with any group interested in the program. We will help members of the group organize, plan meetings, create an effective leadership program, acquire necessary equipment, etc.

We are also available to assist with existing neighborhood watch programs in the future to revitalize the watch group by finding other activities to keep a group engaged. Once the “hot issues” have been addressed many times the group loses interest or motivation to remain proactive. We will assist you in combating complacency by developing paper or e-mail newsletters, a recruitment team for folks that are new to the neighborhood or to expand the geographical area. Other activities include organizing safety fairs, taking identification photos, community clean up days, etc.

I can be reached at the Chester Police Department at (618) 826-5454, or you can e-mail me by clicking on my name (Ryan Coffey) locate on our web page, just below my picture. Thank you for your interest. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ryan Coffey, Chief of Police
Chester Police Department

November 18, 2008

Chester Police begin Neighborhood Watch Program

After a recent rash of car and residential burglaries, Chester Police Department’s Deputy Chief Bobby Helmers met with members of the Highland Acres Mobile Home Park to see if they would be interested in forming a neighborhood watch program.

The first meeting was held Saturday, November 8 and well attended as 14 residents attended this initial meeting, since the meeting the neighborhood watch team has grown to over 30 participants, resulting in 14 random patrols each day.

During the meeting the members were offered training in random patrol, scheduling, fund raising and given crime prevention tips.

Deputy Chief Helmers stated, “These people are doing nothing more than increasing their quality of life and trying to make their neighborhood a safer, more family oriented place, I commend these people for all their hard work, my hat is off to John Tucker and George Cheshire for all the initiative they have shown in this project”.

The Highland Acres Neighborhood Watch holds monthly Meetings at the Chester City Hall on the first Saturday of every month; all residents are encouraged to attend. If you are interested in forming a watch program in your neighborhood contact Deputy Chief Helmers at 618-826-5454 or logon to for more information.

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