>> Garner

Watch for Me NC in Garner

  • Watch for Me NC Participant since: 2013
  • Population: 27,000
  • Lead agency: Garner Police Department

Garner is a rapidly growing town in Wake County located due south of the state capital of Raleigh. Garner prides itself on balancing small town charm with an abundance of cultural and recreational amenities, such as the Garner Performing Arts Center and Lake Benson Park. As pedestrian fatalities continue to be an issue in the area, the Garner Police Department has decided to step up its involvement with Watch for Me NC through increased educational outreach and enforcement.

The Garner Police Department leads the Watch for Me NC efforts and has collaborated with other agencies such as the Planning Department, the Parks and Recreation Division, and local schools.

Education and Enforcement Activities
Garner continues to advocate safety for all road users through a number of education and enforcement events. The Garner Watch for Me NC program has participated in annual events including National Night Out and Back to School Days as several area schools. On Halloween, the Garner Police Department partnered with the Parks and Recreation Division for a Trick-or-Treat the Trails event. Officers and staff discussed the importance of pedestrian and bicycle safety, ushered people across crosswalks, and distributed 50 reflective armbands and 25 rack cards to families.

In addition to these special events, Garner’s Watch for Me NC partners have distributed program materials at busy areas such as a Target parking lot. The most common Watch for Me NC materials distributed at these events are educational brochures, bumper stickers, and bike lights. In an effort to educate

In terms of enforcement, the Garner Police Department has worked hard to educate officers about pedestrian and bicyclist safety issues through roll call trainings. In 2016 alone, the police department conducted more than 10 enforcement operations. While enforcement focused on warning and citing motorists for failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and other dangerous road behavior, these operations also allowed for significant education outreach. Police officers provided Watch for Me NC brochures to every person they stopped.

Key Outcomes
One of the key outcomes of the Watch for Me NC program in Garner is that officers have been able to incorporate the tips and recommendations provided during training sessions into enforcement operations. In terms of infrastructure impacts, the police department is working with the city to either modify or remove a crosswalk at an intersection that was determined to be too dangerous for an enforcement operation. Another key outcome is that the Garner Police Department has increased its funding for activities related to implementing the Watch for Me NC campaign. In the future, Garner plans to create special program materials customized for local use that feature the Watch for Me NC logo.

Lessons Learned

  • Focus on pedestrian & bicycle locations: Partnerships with local schools and the Parks and Recreation Division are important for reaching large numbers of pedestrians and cyclists
  • Staffing is key: Enforcement operations require adequate staffing
  • Utilize school resource officers: School resource officer have been helpful in providing safety presentations to youth

Thank you to Sergeant Chris Adams of the Garner Police Department for providing information in this profile and participating in the Watch for Me NC Campaign.