Neighborhood Watch Programs are available to those communities wanting to take a more diligent stand against crime. It brings law enforcement and the citizens together to reduce crime.
Benefits of a Neighborhood Watch Program
Knowing your neighbors: Neighborhood Watch Programs promote getting to know your neighbors and their regular patterns so that each of the members will be able to report any activity that doesn’t fit with their regular schedules.
Reducing the fear of crime: Neighborhood Watch can increase the number of arrests and convictions by serving as a network for law enforcement and the community to effectively communicate about criminal activity in the neighborhood.
Steps for a Successful Neighborhood Watch Program
Form a Planning Committee: First, visit a website that can provide your group with general information. Research statistics on local crime patterns within your neighborhood. Set a date for the first meeting and start generating interest in the program.
Hold Initial Meeting: Get commitments from those wishing to participate by having them fill out a sign up sheet to include their name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and vehicle description. Map out the coverage area and mark the homes of all participants. Elect a chairperson for the group and ask for volunteer “block captains” to coordinate watch activities, training and assist in information sharing.
Get Training: Set up a day to conduct a thorough training session. It is essential to know what to look for and how to report it. A pen and paper will be your strongest weapons. Know your surroundings and know what is out of the ordinary. Once training is complete, place neighborhood watch signs in the windows of all participating homes.
Keep it Going: Hold regular monthly meetings. Try to involve every neighbor, even if they are not participating in the program. Periodically distributing an information sheet can keep non-participating residents informed and possibly convince them to join the program. Teach neighborhood children to follow established safety procedures. Make it fun to belong by organizing group activities, such as a neighborhood clean-up day or a block party cook-out.
Please remember…You are not being asked to take personal risks, only to serve as “extra eyes and ears” and to report information on crimes and suspicious activity.
To establish a Neighborhood Watch Program in your area, please contact Cpl. PJ Hardy at: 615-453-4398.