Bradenton businesses link together to fight crime

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BRADENTON - The Bradenton Police Department is launching a new crime prevention program, and authorities say programs like it have already proven to be successful in other areas.

The program is called "The Chain". It's sort of like a neighborhood watch program, only for businesses.

Officers say it's all about working together with the community, making sure criminals know they’re not welcome in the city in the Bradenton.

At the B'Towne Coffee Company on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton, the owner says businesses in the area have already been watching out for each for years. He says they keep an eye on each other's businesses and keep each other informed of any suspicious activity or customers -- and he feels that open line of communication has cut the crime.

That's exactly the goal of "The Chain".

With over 2,000 businesses in Bradenton, police say they hope to get as many businesses as possible participating in the program. And they say the concept is simple. “Every community needs to be brought together, and we need to have a lot more open communication between the department and our citizens and our businesses, and vice versa. So that's what this does,” says Officer Kimberly Camacho.

If you would like more information on The Chain, Bradenton police are holding an informational kick-off event on July 29th. If you plan on attending, you're asked to contact the Bradenton Police Department to RSVP.