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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Worship Watch crime prevention program targets faith community

The Fairfax County Police Department is launching a program aimed at preventing crime at houses of worship by encouraging congregants to be more vigilant.

Worship Watch is modeled after Neighborhood Watch, a crime-prevention program that encourages residents to be observant of their surroundings and report suspicious activity.

The public is invited to a free workshop on Worship Watch on Saturday, Feb. 28, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Room 102 C. One of the presenters will be crime prevention officer Brendan Murphy of the Mason Police District.

Workshop attendees will learn about crime prevention, facility security assessments, evacuation plans, and how to receive crime alerts and community information. If you’re interested in attending, RSVP to Reston Crime Prevention Officer Katy Defoe at

Worship Watch has proven effective in Prince William County, she said, “so we’re integrating it into our repertoire, Defoe says. Houses of worship are not immune to criminal activity, and have been subject to larceny, burglary, vandalism, and arson – although she says there hasn’t been a recent increase in these crimes. 


  1. I'd like to know more: though this article says there have been no recent increases in crime on church/house of worship property, why is this interest arising now? What's the antecedent?

  2. I know at AUMC we have had many break in over the last three to four years.