Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol is firing off some new ways to help keep residents safe, and he's asking for their help.
"We need your eyes and ears," Christol told members of the Red Bank Chamber Council at their June meeting. "We need relationships with the business community. Go back to old England and look at the night watchman. Every man took a rotation to ring the bell at night if a fire or burglary occurred."
He said he plans to develop the Volunteers in Policing Program in Red Bank, so that community volunteers can help police.
"Neighborhood Watch takes a community willing to watch out for their neighbors," said Christol. "Call 9-1-1 if you think you see something and we will check it out."
He said he would also like to begin a child identification program in the city where children can receive ID cards with their photo, fingerprint and a strand of hair for DNA. He said if the child runs away, the ID card would assist in finding the child.
He said he strives to give his officers the tools they need to do their job to protect citizens.
"If they do their jobs, then residents feel safe," said Christol. "You have to feel safe where you live; if not you'll find somewhere else to go. We will strive every day to work to build relationships and earn the public's trust."
He said 23 Red Bank police officers protect 11,657 city citizens in a territory of 6 square miles.
"When I joined Red Bank Police Department in December, I found a very divided department," said Christol. "One of the first things I realized was we should bring the department back together as a unit."
Red Bank police officers on patrol respond to calls regarding suspicious people, domestic disputes, intoxicated individuals, fights, drug operations, crime and traffic enforcement. At night officers patrol around city businesses and conduct welfare checks.