IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Police and the public in Ironton are working together to crack down on crime.
People went to a meeting at OU Southern Tuesday night where police and the prosecuting attorney talked about helping them form new neighborhood watch groups.
Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless says now more than ever it's critical for neighbors to keep their eyes and ears open, especially with budget cuts leaving fewer deputies to patrol the streets.
"We're about eight deputies down from where we were 10 years ago,” Lawless said. “Crime continues to increase, and our numbers are dwindling somewhat."
The Ironton Police Department hired three new officers last week, but they're still down seven from what they call a full staff.
Ashley Campbell lives on Ironton’s south side. She says thieves have hit her home numerous times, taking things from her porch and garage.
"It is very frustrating that someone just takes my possessions, because I work hard for my money,” she said.
Campbell says she believes the growing culture of crime could take a big hit if enough neighbors buy in.
"We need all the neighborhoods to come together and help one another out instead of letting people steal our stuff," she said.
If you’d like to learn more or get involved you can check out this Facebook page: