>> Apex

Watch for Me NC in Apex

  • Watch for Me NC participant since: 2013
  • Population: 42,250
  • Lead agency: Apex Police Department


Photo: Watch for Me NC banner near Apex Friendship High School. Credit: Apex Police Department

Apex is a quickly growing town located just west of Raleigh in Wake County. Despite massive population growth since 1990, Apex has worked hard to retain its charm as a historic railroad town. Apex is known for its having a quality schools, restaurants, and being in close proximity to Raleigh, the Research Triangle Park, and beautiful Jordan Lake. In fact, Money Magazine listed Apex as the #1 place to live in 2015. Since joining the Watch for Me NC program in 2013 as a pilot project community, Apex has worked to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety through a combination of education, enforcement, and engineering.

The Apex Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit is the lead agency for the local Watch for Me NC campaign. Other program partners include the Town of Apex Traffic Engineering Department, Wake County Schools, Wake County Human Services, Safe Kids Wake County, and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

Education and Enforcement Activities
Program partners in Apex have participated in a variety of events to spread the Watch for Me NC message including annual events such as Apex Night Out, the Peak Festival, Walk to School Day, and the North Carolina State Fair. Police officers have regularly provided pedestrian and bicycle safety presentations at local Scout group meetings and preschools. The Apex Police Department has discussed pedestrian and bicycle related issues with various Home Owners Associations and are actively engaged with the Wake County chapter of Safe Kids. Watch for Me NC campaign information is also placed around town in kiosks near government offices, schools, libraries, local businesses, and community centers.

The Apex Police Department has made an effort to actively work with all of the schools in the Town of Apex including public schools, private schools, and preschools. Apex has utilized school resource officers and crossing guards in public schools to carry out Watch for Me NC related activities. Morning and afternoon traffic is monitored by crossing guards in crosswalks and school resource officers in carpool lines.

Enforcement operations in Apex tend to focus on the downtown area with warnings and citations issued to motorists and warnings issued to both pedestrians and bicyclists.

Key Outcomes
The Watch for Me NC campaign has inspired several target engineering upgrades in Apex. School zone beacons were installed throughout town at a cost of approximately $300,000 of local funds. The Town installed two push-button signals at intersections and is planning to install two more. The Town also upgraded several crosswalks with new paint. The Apex Police Department is currently working with the Apex Traffic Engineering Department to implement infrastructure improvements to boost safety on a section of road near an elementary school. In the meantime, additional crossing guards have provided assistance for safe crossings.

Lessons Learned

  • Liaisons are key: The strength of Apex’s Watch for Me NC programs with area schools is based on the crossing guards and school resource officers that act as liaisons for the Watch for Me NC message. Safe Kids of Wake County even recognized one of Apex’s school resource officers involved with the Watch for Me NC program as their “Volunteer of the Year”.
  • Combine the 3 E’s: Using a combination of education, engineering, and enforcement addresses pedestrian and cyclist issues from all sides ensuring the best results.

Thanks to Sergeant Eric Buchanan and Sergeant Kevin Herring with the Apex Police Department for their work on the Watch for Me NC program and for the information provided for this community profile.