Is a Neighborhood Watch Program for You?
With Spring coming soon and Summer right around the corner, people are going to spend more time outdoors. Keeping our families, homes and pets safe is a concern that is important to us all as we protect ourselves against those who would seek to do us and our properties harm.
Do you live in a neighborhood that you think would benefit from such a program? If so, consider these quick tips on how to establish a Neighborhood Watch program in your neighborhood.
- Talk to your local law enforcement officials. They can provide a point person who has assisted others in setting up a Watch group. Local police can also offer information on crime statistics for your neighborhood or area.
- Talk to your neighbors. You can gauge interest in a Neighborhood Watch by describing what the neighborhoods crime rate you obtain from local authorities. This will also provide you an opportunity to ask for assistance in setting the group up.
- Determine what streets or area your Watch group will cover. Remember, it may be important to keep it manageable in the beginning by adopting a suitable geographic area. The larger the neighborhood, the larger the group will need to be.
- Find a meeting place. This is important as you will need space to hold informational and regular meetings. Initially, a private residence may be suitable, yet, as the Watch group grows, you might consider asking permission to use a fire hall, church or school auditorium to hold your meetings.
- Be sure to keep your Watch group active and up to date. Police can provide you with updates throughout the year on crime in the area. This will provide you and your neighbors the opportunity to network, meet and share ideas. This will also offer neighbors who aren't currently involved to learn more about the program.
- You will probably have printing and copying costs. Factor that in as you develop your Watch program. Consider an online or E-mail directory to cut down on administrative costs.
- The National Neighborhood Watch Institute offers a resourceful website that includes how to order street signs, handbooks and starter manuals.
While setting up a Neighborhood Watch might seem like a lot of work in the beginning, the long term benefit of reducing crime combined with making a positive contribution to the community in which you live and work will far outweigh the the upfront work involved.