Even the most affluent neighborhoods are not immune to crime.

Even the most affluent neighborhoods are not immune to crime.

That is why Laura Tomko invited Delaware County sheriff Walter L. Davis III to speak to her and her neighbors in Tartan Fields about setting up a neighborhood block watch in their community. Tartan Fields is in Dublin in southern Delaware County.

Tomko said she was spurred into action after learning about recent crimes in the community.

One was an attempted break-in. In the other, deputies were called to investigate men going door-to-door selling candy bars on a Saturday night. Arrests were made, she said, when deputies found drugs on them.

"With people losing jobs I thought crime would be getting worse and coming into the suburbs. We just need to be aware of our neighbors, make sure garage doors are shut and if you see something suspicious, report it," Tomko said.

Davis and deputy sheriff Ron Vogel, the community relations liaison for the department, were at the Feb. 26 meeting at the Tartan Fields Country Club.

"Delaware County is still one of the best places to live in Ohio and we want to keep it that way," Vogel told the 40 people at the meeting.

Neighborhood block watch "is a passion of mine, that's how I got involved as a sheriff" after 28 years with the Florida Highway Patrol, Davis said. After retiring he helped form a block watch in his Genoa Township community.

The meeting was the first step in forming a block watch in Tartan Fields, Vogel said. The next is to sign up street captains to talk to neighbors to build interest. Then he and Davis will come back, probably in a month, for another meeting.

The evening also gave the Tartan Fields residents a chance to express concerns and ask the sheriff questions.

One of the primary concerns was how to increase the number of deputies in the neighborhood, and decrease the time it takes to respond to 911 calls.

Concord Township, where Tartan Fields is located, contracts with the sheriff for one deputy to patrol only in that area each day. That deputy works varying shifts, depending on the day of the week and other factors, he said. Another deputy patrols that area and surrounding communities as well.

Expecting anything more is probably not realistic in these economic times, Davis said.

"This is a tough time for all of us," he said. "I was in the (county) commissioners' (executive session) meeting today asking for more money and they told me, 'Don't even think about it.'"

Anyone interested in setting up a neighborhood block watch can contact Vogel at (740) 833-2826.