Lyons People and Citizens Together Against Crime, a volunteer citizen watch group, also known as Lyons PAC-TAC, was formed in June 2009 as a division of the Lyons Civic Club.

When Dennis Peters moved to Lyons in 2006, he wanted to contribute to improving his new hometown. Last year, he found the perfect venue: Lyons People and Citizens Together Against Crime. The volunteer citizen watch group, also known as Lyons PAC-TAC, was formed in June 2009 as a division of the Lyons Civic Club.

“Just being in the community, meeting with people — it’s a great little town,” said Peters, the group’s president. “We’re trying to make it a little better.”

Anyone interested in participating in the group is required to take a three-hour training program, undergo a background check and sign a waiver of liability. Once members are accepted, they are given bright vests labeled “Lyons PAC-TAC” and patrol the streets in Lyons, looking for suspicious activity.

The group works with the Lyons Police Department through liaison Sgt. Steve Brendlinger.

“Basically I provide some guidance on what activities to be aware of on patrols,” said Brendlinger, such as parked cars or people cutting through yards. “They’ve done extremely well.”

If members see an issue on their patrols that needs to be addressed, they either call 911 or contact the Lyons Police Department, which subsequently investigates the problem.

Peters said the group has yet to find an issue that needs to be reported.
But, he added, “just being out there is a big deterrent.”

Brendlinger agreed.

“It’s citizens taking an active role in making our job easier,” he said. “Criminals know someone is always out watching them.”

The group has about 20 members and is seeking more, as well as donations for operational costs, said Peters.

“I think we have room to get bigger,” he said. “Right now, we’re comfortable — the village is small — but there is room to get bigger.”