As we close out the first month of 2022, I encourage you to get together with your neighbors and determine if your community has a Neighborhood Watch program.
Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention programs in the country, bringing citizens together with law enforcement to deter crime and make communities safer.
Sponsored by the National Sheriffs’ Association, Neighborhood Watch can trace its roots back to the days of colonial settlements, when night watchmen patrolled the streets. The modern version of Neighborhood Watch was developed in response to requests from sheriffs and police chiefs who were looking for a crime prevention program that would involve citizens and address an increasing number of burglaries.
Neighborhood Watch works because it reduces opportunities for crime to occur; it doesn’t rely on altering or changing the criminal’s behavior or motivation.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Work with the police or sheriff’s office. These agencies are critical to a Watch group’s credibility and are the source of necessary information and training.
- Link up with your victims’ services office to get your members trained in helping victims of crime.
- Hold regular meetings to help residents get to know each other and to decide upon program strategies and activities.
For more information on starting a Neighborhood Watch where you live, call the Sheriff’s Department at 785-8230.