Neighborhood Watch Groups
Formally known as Crime Watch Groups, these organizations were developed to encourage citizen involvement and deter crime by early detection. Citizens volunteer to become extra eyes for the police department, reporting crime and suspicious behavior. Citizens learn to anticipate, recognize, and appraise the crime risks in their neighborhoods, and how to take action that removes or reduces those risks.
How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Group
A Watch Group’s success depends on the quality of its communication with members and the Police Department.
- First, talk with your neighbors about the need for a group based on personal knowledge of crime or suspicious activity in your area.
- Set a time and place for your neighbors to meet and discuss topics of mutual interest. (The meeting can be held somewhere outside of your neighborhood.)
- Invite your Community Relations or District Officer to present information on crime detection and prevention.
- Choose coordinators and block captains, who are responsible for organizing meetings and passing information on to members.
- Recruit others. Attendance is critical for the group’s success. At least 50% attendance is needed to qualify for posting community watch signs