What is the Solution?

While there is no one, single solution to the crime problem in Seville, neighborhood watch programs can go a long way towards reaching the goal.

Local Tradition
Law enforcement has the legislated duty of enforcing the laws of the state and of the village. The Ohio Revised code states that "A law enforcement officer who finds a person violating a law of this state or an ordinance of a village shall arrest and detain that person" This 1 simple entry in the law book places a duty and responsibility on the police department for enforcing the laws. However, it is the citizens of the community that have had the traditional responsibility of preventing crime, and of reporting the crimes that they witness or become aware of to the police department.

This tradition is deeply rooted in history. Ninth century England found that country divided into huge tracts of land called shires. Each shire was assigned a caretaker, called a reeve, whose job was to look after the people in his area. It is from this ancient shire reeve that we derive our modern term, sheriff. The Shire Reeve had Posse Comitatus, or the power of the county. He could, in times of trouble, enlist the citizens to help him in keeping the peace. Every male between the ages of 18 and 80 was required to help when summoned. When the citizens observed a crime, they would detain the criminal and raise a hue and cry, until the reeve arrived and took charge of the prisoner. Later in English history, we find citizens patrolling the streets and exclaiming on the hour, "All is well!" if such were the case.

Early Americans relied on a simple technique called "neighbor helping neighbor." This technique was applied not only to the problem of crime in their area, but also to their very survival. It is this time-honored technique that we will be concentrating on here.