What is Neighborhood Watch?
A Neighborhood Watch program is a group of people living in the same area who want to make their neighborhood safer by working together and in conjunction with local law enforcement to reduce crime and improve their quality of life. Neighborhood Watch (NW) groups have regular meetings to plan how they will accomplish their specific goals and assign responsibilities to group members. Neighborhood Watch is homeland security at the most local level. It is an opportunity to volunteer and work towards increasing the safety and security of our homes and our homeland.
Neighborhood Watch empowers citizens and communities to become active in emergency preparedness, as well as the fight against crime and community disasters. Activities conducted by Neighborhood Watch groups across the country are as diverse and varied as their volunteers and the neighborhoods they represent. Some groups mobilize to patrol neighborhoods, others distribute crime prevention information, while business assessments or home security surveys are conducted by others. Where disorder problems are the primary focus of Neighborhood Watch members, volunteers mobilize and conduct neighborhood clean-ups, or work with faith-based organizations to assist with the homeless and mentally ill who wander the streets. As law enforcement officers learn the needs of their various Neighborhood Watch groups and the dynamics of their volunteers, they can tailor activities and responses to meet the ever-changing needs of their citizens.
Benefits of Neighborhood Watch
There are many benefits Neighborhood Watch volunteers and their communities have benefited from, such as:
- a reduction in crime
- a better quality of life
- a greater sense of security, responsibility, and personal control
- building community pride and unity
- preparing for helping others and ourselves in our community
- providing law enforcement agencies with volunteer support year round
- becoming the extra “eyes and ears” of law enforcement personnel and therefore reduce law enforcement‘s burden
Reasons for Neighborhood Watch
- Basic Crime Prevention: Practice crime safety measures that eliminate opportunities for criminals. Encourage others to join in crime prevention efforts. Aid others when they become victims of crime. Work for a better and safer neighborhood through protecting and honoring the rights of others.
- Disaster Preparedness: Learn skills to prepare for man-made and natural disasters. Local, state, and the federal government do a lot to prepare for disasters but citizens have to be ready to care for each other. Encourage citizen involvement in preparation and planning.
- Build a Stronger Community: Get to know your neighbors. In our fast-paced world we don’t spend enough time learning about our neighbors. Watch groups give community members a reason to get together and talk about making their community a better place. Neighborhood Watch Activities are a fun way for community members to get to know each other while making a difference.
Interested in becoming a Neighborhood Watch Block Captain?
Click here to submit your information to our Community Services Officer to be notified of an upcoming Block Captain meeting.