The Neighborhood Watch Program is organized to enable the police and the community to work together to make specific geographical areas more crime resistant. It is a citizen, neighborhood, and community based effort, designed to help citizens and law enforcement agencies prevent primarily residential burglaries. In harmony with the philosophy of Community Policing, Neighborhood Watch encourages strong working relationships between patrol officers and the citizens they serve.
Police and sheriffs' departments across the country are learning that community participation in anti-crime programs is essential. One of the most effective ways to promote citizen interaction with police is the sharing of information. Citizen groups determine specific needs or problems and then share this information with local police. The police then act on this information and report back to the group on their progress. Police officers can also contact public groups and organizations and make them aware of specific criminal activities or the needs of the police department.
Why Organize a Neighborhood Watch?
Crime and fear of crime threaten a community's well-being. People become afraid to leave their homes, to use streets and parks, or to walk through the neighborhood. Suspicion erupts between young and old. Businesses gradually leave. Crime feeds on the social isolation it creates. Today's lifestyles, including both parents working, more single parent families, and greater job mobility, can contribute to this isolation and weaken communities.
Neighbors can prevent or break this vicious cycle and build their community into a safer, friendlier, and more caring place to live. Getting together to fight crime, violence, and drugs can help create communities where people once isolated by crime and fear can enjoy being part of a thriving neighborhood.
The success of a Neighborhood Watch program hinges on achieving and sustaining an appropriate level of community involvement to a point at which the neighborhood realizes a reduction and/or prevention of residential burglaries and other residential area crime. These programs can reduce the fear of crime, encourage crime reporting, stimulate involvement in crime prevention, inhibit drug trafficking, and spur beautification activities. Statistics and criminals alike verify that when neighbors organize, the opportunity for crime is drastically reduced.
If you are interested in organizing a Neighborhood Watch program in your area or if you would like more information, please contact me.