Although neighborhood watch, and the concept behind it, has been around for some time, Independence's history with the program is not quite as long lived.
The Independence Police Department first became involved with the Neighborhood Watch Program in 1996, when Jan Jordan heard of a prowler in her neighborhood. Having four daughters at home, she became concerned for the safety of her family, and took it upon herself to organize her neighborhood into a "watch area."
After organizing her neighborhood, she contacted Officer Gary England, who had just been appointed to the position of Crime Prevention Officer for the City of Independence. Officer England came to Blackburn School happy to find someone to assist in starting the Neighborhood Watch Program.
Jan has remained a driving force behind the Neighborhood Watch Program from 1996 to today. Helping to organize three separate watch groups, as well as organize and keep track of each of the watch groups throughout the city.
During the past 15 years, Neighborhood Watch has had six liaisons from the police department; Gary England, Jim Edwards, Rob Romey, Brian Flavin, John Syme, and Luis Virgil. Each Officer has brought a unique touch to the Neighborhood Watch Program.
Currently, there are more than 50 registered watch groups in Independence. These numbers are rising. These groups represent thousands of homes in various areas throughout the City of Independence.