By Amy Wenk
amywenk@reporternewspapers.netSandy Springs police are calling on the business community to curb crime.

Senior Officer Larry Jacobs with the Crime Prevention Division recently launched the Business Watch program after three months of development.

“It’s something very, very new for the city,” Jacobs said about the program that is the commercial version of Neighborhood Watch.

The goal of the free program is to reduce crime through partnerships between the business community and the police. Members learn how to make their businesses more secure, watch out for each other and the community, and report shady activities to the police department.

“I go to these businesses and teach them how to spot suspicious activity and how to respond,” Jacobs said.

He also conducts security evaluations of business where he inspects and offers suggestions to make companies less vulnerable to intruders and other criminals.

Police hope entire shopping centers participate.

When at least 30 percent of businesses in an area sign up, they are encouraged to purchase signs that announce the presence of a Business Watch program. The signs cost $25 and should be placed at entrances to shopping or commercial areas.

The first businesses Jacobs approached to participate were located in the shopping plaza located at the intersection of Spalding Drive and Holcomb Bridge Road.

Jacobs said the Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce (SSPC) is helping to promote Business Watch. The program debuted at the March 4 Business Expo, and Officer Jacobs said he will attend monthly SSPC meetings to promote participation.

For more information, e-mail Jacobs at larry.jacobs@sandyspringsga.org.