Watch is the cornerstone of all crime prevention programs. It enlists the
active participation of citizens in cooperation with law enforcement to
reduce burglaries and other neighborhood crimes. Its primary purpose is the
protection of property -- yours and your neighbors.
Neighborhood Watch is a proven and effective means to
substantially reduce not only the incidence of residential
burglaries in a specified geographical area, but the incidence
of other crimes.
This program teaches you the steps that can be taken to help
protect your home. It also helps you organize a neighborhood
group and start making crime prevention a part of everyone's
Why start a Neighborhood Watch?
The Neighborhood Watch program will help deter crime in the
neighborhood you live in. The "job" of a citizen in a
Neighborhood Watch area is to be suspicious, alert and to report
any suspicious activity to the police. It is the responsibility
of the police to apprehend the criminals. Yours is to report
Get as many
neighbors involved as possible. Not everyone will want to be
part of the program, and that's alright. Make sure they know
about the Neighborhood Watch program and that they are always
welcome to come to the get-togethers. Make sure they know about
all your events.
Make the meetings as convenient as possible.
Have them in the neighborhood so that your neighbors will come.
The first meeting can be held indoors or out, depending on the
weather. If outside, ask participants to bring their own
chairs. Most meetings are held outdoors in front of the home, in
the driveway, backyard, garage, etc. Your second meeting and
subsequent meetings can be held anywhere. If you have it
somewhere other than the neighborhood, make sure there are good
directions to the event. Your
officer or representative will need to attend one of your first two
meetings to introduce the program to everyone. Please call at
least 3 weeks in advance to schedule a meeting.
Schedule a Neighborhood Watch meeting or a neighborhood event
whenever it is good for your neighbors! Make it hard for them
to give you an excuse not to be there. Evenings are good,
beginning around 7:00 p.m. It allows everyone to get home, eat
something and those with children can spend some time with
What are the responsibilities of a Neighborhood
The captain and co-captain(s) will be responsible for holding
two meetings or activities per calendar year. A qualified
activity of 50% or more participation of the homes in your
A captain is very important to the success of the program!
Their involvement and enthusiasm will get the other neighbors
involved. The captain arranges the meetings or events.
Two are required per calendar year. Don't let it scare
you! It will take less time than you think.
One of your first two meetings needs to be
the presentation of the program by a
from our office. Some of the topics covered in the presentation
- the Neighborhood Watch program
- Home Security and Target Hardening
- Vehicle Security
- Operation Identification
If there are specific problems in your area that you
would like addressed (i.e., vehicle burglaries, criminal
damage), be sure to let your
officer know so
those issues can be addressed at your meeting as well. Written
materials will be provided to you and your neighbors by your
crime prevention officer.
Subsequent meetings just need to be some kind of get-together
(i.e., a potluck). The purpose of these meetings is for the
neighbors to get to know each other. We do not need to attend
your subsequent meetings unless you would like us to address
issues that are going on in your neighborhood, to speak on a
particular topic, or if you would like a refresher on the
program for new neighbors that have moved into your area.
The captain is also responsible for the paperwork that is
required. Attendance sheets (hard copy or the online form) from
each event/meeting you have need to be turned in to your
prevention officer to receive credit and ensure active
Neighborhood Watch group that does not have the
two required meetings per year with at least 50% participation
will not be considered "active" and will have their Neighborhood
removed from the program.
The captain is also the liaison between the police department
and their neighbors. The police department sends
information to the captains and co-captains via e-mail. They, in turn, may
disseminate the information to their neighbors. If there are
questions or concerns conveyed during an event, the captain can
call their crime prevention
officer for clarification and answers.
to Plan Your Meetings and Make Them Successful
Make the date as convenient as possible for the majority of the
people. Send out invitations or flyers at least 2 weeks in
advance. You will probably never get everyone at one meeting.
That's okay. All you need is 50% of the homes in your designated
area to participate. Take a quick survey of your neighbors to
see which night and time are best for them. They are the ones
who make the program successful. Be sure to have everyone there
sign the attendance sheet so you get credit for the meeting.