The Stop Watch program is set to launch this fall in St. Lucie County. Trained volunteers will monitor school bus stops in the area for suspicious activity. They will be given special cell phones that can contact 911 in the event of an incident.
FORT PIERCE, Fla. — St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara aims to protect the area’s schoolchildren by launching "Stop Watch" this fall, a program in which volunteers will be on the lookout for suspicious activity at school bus stops.
"Our children are St. Lucie County's most precious resource," Sheriff Mascara said. "We are asking members of the community to volunteer for Stop Watch."
Stop Watch volunteers will undergo a criminal background check and a three-hour training course before being assigned to school bus stops. Volunteers will use their own cars identified by signs that the Sheriff's Office will provide. Volunteers will also be provided with a cell phone that can contact 911 (but no other phone numbers) when they see suspicious activity.
"A concerned member of our community, who wishes to remain anonymous, suggested a volunteer presence at school bus stops," Mascara said. "From there, my Crime Prevention Unit developed the details of the program."
People who want to volunteer for Stop Watch may obtain an application at the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, the Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit or online at www.stluciesheriff.com by selecting the "Community" dropdown menu, then "Operation STOP WATCH."