EVART — Business owners, residents and those with a vested interest in the City of Evart are invited to give their input on a new neighborhood watch program at a meeting Thursday at the Evart Depot.

From 7 to 8:30 p.m. individuals are invited to discuss how to mutually prevent crime and improve the community. Evart police officer Michelle Gebbon said the program is a response to recent crimes being committed in the community, as well as the closing of Dean Foods Liberty Dairy.

“This is the time where we as a community need to help each other,” Gebbon said.

The program would include the establishing of two or four captains in various parts of downtown Evart. A chain of command would help business owners report things they may not typically report, which could lead to stopping crimes before they’re committed, Gebbon said.

“Our goal is to get everyone to know each other and to work together,” Gebbon said. “We would like the eyes and ears of the community to know how to communicate with us.”

Eric Schmidt, who owns a business on the north side of US 10, volunteered to be the north side captain.

“If somebody sees a suspicious character, they’ll call me and I’ll report it to authorities,” Schmidt said. “If they see somebody crawling through a window, they’ll call 9-1-1.”

The meeting will last for about 90 minutes and refreshments will be served.