A sign on the side of a neighborhood road states a purpose clearly. It reads:
Warning; all suspicious persons and activities are immediately reported to our police department. Neighborhood Watch; we look out for each other."
Neighbors on these streets in Martinsville take its meaning serious.
There are 45 Neighborhood Watch groups in the city all of them are told to call police regularly.
"We have a lot of stragglers that comes around that doesn't even live into the neighborhood. We try to watch out for each others properties," said Howard Hairston, a Neighborhood Watch captain.
Officer Coretha Gravely responds to their calls.
She's in charge of all 45 watch groups and she says they've helped.
"Sometimes it pays to be nosey. That's right. To look and see what's going on; who's that over there or who at my house or what kind of car, who's car is that?" Gravely said.
Their work is paying off.
Police have noticed a drop in overall crime in the last decade. Crime rates were the lowest last year than they've been since 1983.
There was only one murder in Martinsville last year, that's the lowest number since 2008.
"We've been very aggressive in all of our law enforcement efforts and that includes patrol being big on traffic enforcement as well as investigating criminal offenses," said Police Chief Mike Rogers.
Chief Mike Rogers agrees, Martinsville's not fitting the stereotype.
He says you'd expect crime to be high when unemployment is high, that's not the case here.
"The figures are good to see and I think it says a lot about what we're doing right in Martinsville do make this a safe place to live," Rogers said.
He wants the trend to continue into 2013, hopefully setting another record.