>> Oak Island

Watch for Me NC in Oak Island

  • Watch for Me NC participant since: 2017
  • Population: 8,000
  • Lead agency: Oak Island Police Department


Oak Island is a small beach community near the South Carolina border, separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway. Locals and visitors alike enjoy a walkable natural environment and a 9-mile multi use path in the vicinity of the oceanfront. Wooded nature trails provide some off-road pedestrian accommodations. The population of Oak Island fluctuates seasonally, resulting in increases in pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic across the entire island.


The Oak Island Police Department received support from the Oak Island Parks and Recreation Department, and the Island Riders Bicycle Team. Bicycle shops and other local businesses were happy to share Watch for Me NC materials. Officers liaised with Public Works regarding the location and installation of clean graffiti messages.

Education and Enforcement Activities

Outreach was conducted at a Boys and Girls Club afterschool program and a variety of local events, especially those geared towards younger residents and visitors. Pedestrian safety messages were posted to the Police Department website and Facebook page.

Key Outcomes

Oak Island worked to launch the program in their community, and laid groundwork for better implementation in the future.

Lessons Learned

  • Officer training and orientation meetings were very valuable and understanding gained will help Oak Island’s Police better achieve full buy-in amongst department staff.
  • Oak Island’s busier pedestrian season may not align with others in the state.
  • Checking in with neighboring communities who have participated in Watch for Me NC was also helpful for Oak Island staff.


Thank you to Captain Tony Burke with the Oak Island Police Department for providing leadership, time, and expertise that contributed to the Watch for Me NC Campaign in Oak Island and the information in this profile.