Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, Town Watch, Apartment Watch, Crime Watch — no matter what it’s called, they’re one of the most effective, and least costly, answers to crime.

A Watch group is an association of neighbors who look out for each other’s families and property, alert the police to any suspicious activities or crime in progress, and work together to make their community a safer and better place to live.

Watch groups are a foundation of community crime prevention and they can be a steppingstone to community revitalization.

Here are several things to keep in mind if you’d like to start a Neighborhood Watch where you live:

  • Form a small planning committee of neighbors to discuss needs, the level of interest, possible challenges and the Neighborhood Watch concept.
  • Contact us to discuss Neighborhood Watch and local crime concerns. We can arrange for a deputy to attend your meeting.
  • Publicize your meeting at least one week in advance with door-to-door fliers and follow up with phone calls the day before.
  • Select a meeting place that is accessible to people with disabilities.

Watches that have been successful over the years hold regular meetings to help residents get to know each other and to collectively decide upon program strategies and activities. It’s also beneficial to link with an existing organization, such as a citizens’ association, community development office, tenants’ association or housing authority.

Remember, the Watch concept is adaptable. There are Park Watches, Apartment Watches, Window Watches, Boat Watches, School Watches, Realtor Watches, Utility Watches and Business Watches. A Watch can be organized around any geographic unit.