Sheriff's Department works to improve relationship with public

People will soon see new signs up in different areas of Moffat County as part of a new program being developed by the Moffat County Sheriff's Department.

The Ranch Watch program has been established in cooperation with the residents of Moffat County, the Colorado Cattleman's Association and the Sheriff's Department.

The program is designed to promote a better relationship between officers and the residents in rural Moffat County.

"As part of the program we have deputies that go into the community and meet the people that are participating," said Sheriff Buddy Grinstead. "It helps to establish that one-on-one contact. Once people know the officers they are more likely to call in."

The program will be a pro-active attack on crime that also will include community meetings and problem solving between residents who focus on preventing crime before it happens.

Another aspect to the program is placing signs in the county advising people that Moffat County is a ranch watch community. The signs will read: "WARNING RANCH WATCH - COUNTY ROAD AND RESIDENCES WATCHED BY NEIGHBORS - PATROLLED BY SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES - MOFFAT COUNTY SHERIFF."

The Sheriff's Department is looking for volunteer land owners willing to allow the Sheriff's Department to place a sign on their property near the entrance to communities.

"It's good solid tactics and techniques for crime prevention," said Grinstead. "We want to get the message out that in a small rural community like ours we just watch out for each other."

The Sheriff's Department is also selling 10-foot by 12-foot signs for people to place on their property to keep trespassers off. The signs will read: "NO TRESPASSING - PATROLLED BY SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES - VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED - MOFFAT COUNTY SHERIFF."

Signs will be available at the Sheriff's Department for $8.

"Our hope is that the small signs posted on private property will minimize hunter trespass calls," said Grinstead.

According to Grinstead, Sgt. Tim Jantz and the Colorado Cattleman's Association were instrumental in getting the program in place and the grant money to purchase the signs.

"I really have to credit Sgt. Tim Jantz for grabbing the bull by the horns and getting the program started," said Grinstead. "It should be beneficial to our community."

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