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 July 19th, 2010  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara initiates "Stop Watch" volunteer program to help keep school children safe at bus stops
St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara is launching "Stop Watch," a program in which trained volunteers will be on the lookout for suspicious activity at school bus stops.

"Our children are St. Lucie County's most precious resource," Sheriff Mascara said. "With Stop Watch volunteers keeping an eye on school bus stops, my goal is to protect our children. We are asking members of the community to volunteer for Stop Watch."

Stop Watch volunteers will undergo a criminal background check and a three-hour training course before being assigned to school bus stops. Volunteers will use their own cars identified by signs the Sheriff's Office will provide. Volunteers will also be provided with a cell phone that can contact 9-1-1 (but no other phone numbers) when the volunteers see suspicious activity.

"A concerned member of our community, who wishes to remain anonymous, suggested a volunteer presence at school bus stops," said Sheriff Mascara. "From there, my Crime Prevention Unit developed the details of the program, which we plan to start this fall when school starts."

People who want to volunteer for Stop Watch may obtain an application at the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, 4700 W. Midway Road, Fort Pierce; the Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit, 250 N.W. Country Club Drive, Port St. Lucie; or online at stluciesheriff.com by selecting the "Community" dropdown menu, then selecting "Operation STOP WATCH."

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