Well, I guess I asked for it. After bellyaching about crime in Lake Highlands and complaining that the police can’t, and in fact aren’t, doing it all, my neighborhood formed a crime watch, and I was drafted as the chairman – something about my resemblance to Barney Fife.

From what I can gather, my neighborhood used to have an active crime watch, but a former member was arrested for managing a car-theft ring and was sent packing to the Huntsville Country Club. Apparently he was the inspiration behind the crime watch, so once he was gone, the group disbanded, but at least the number of car thefts fell. (Just kidding – no libel suits, please.)

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We still have vestiges of the former crime watch, because there are those orange and black crime watch signs underneath just about every street sign in our neighborhood.

Those signs are scary, aren’t they?

FBI surveys indicate that criminals are confident about getting away with their crimes until they see those crime watch signs, and then they turn into quivering mounds of Jello.

Consequently, I intend to leave the signs up. I will probably have to invest in several Jello-scoopers to remove affected, would-be criminals. I also plan to make necklaces with little crime watch sign pendants for our neighbors to wear around their necks to ward off crime, wart hogs, government officials and other evils.

People have been calling me to ask what a crime watch does. I’m not sure yet. I think one of the benefits of membership is that you receive advance notice of crimes to be committed in your neighborhood, and you are invited to drag up a lawn chair and watch – hence, a “crime watch.”

Another real benefit is you have all your crime watch meetings at the police station. I have attended two meetings at the police station, and I already feel like one of the boys.

I will probably start sitting around the break room and swapping “Dragnet” stories. “My name’s Keffer – I was working the day watch…”

In fact, I have been brushing up on my crime-watching techniques by watching reruns of “Dragnet,” “Adam-12,” “ChiPS,” as well as the new shows such as “NYPD Blue” (I close my eyes during the nasty scenes.), “Law and Order” and “America’s Most Wanted” (I’m always afraid I’ll see a family member.).

I would kind of like to get a badge and decoder ring and maybe a secret password to use around the neighborhood, but I think that costs extra. I’m thinking of some new programs our crime watch might start – for example, start a “crime-of-the-month” contest. Think of the community pride the recipients of the monthly honor would possess.

Or how about coordinating home security alarms on a street so that they actually play a song – like “Jailhouse Rock” or “Folsom Prison Blues”?

We plan to run a peaceful crime watch area. We’re not looking for trouble.

But criminals better think twice before they wander into Crime Watch 1088 – otherwise they will be wishing the police had gotten to them first.

I think our crime watch credo should be: “Go ahead, make my day.”