Neighborhood Watch is the joining of forces by police and citizens to reduce and prevent crime in your neighborhood. Citizens become extra eyes and ears for the police department. Neighborhood Watch teaches members what suspicious activity is and how to report that activity when they see it, as well as how to describe suspicious persons and vehicles.
Neighborhood Watch is NOT a vigilante program and does not promote vigilantism. Participants in the program should never confront anyone acting suspiciously. If you see suspicious behavior, pick up the phone and call the police.
Neighborhood Watch programs are not just for crime ridden neighborhoods. Neighborhood Watch is an excellent tool to help prevent crime from getting a start. Law Enforcement can’t do it alone. Being involved in Neighborhood Watch will reduce existing crime and prevent future crime. It will also make law enforcement more effective and efficient, which creates a win-win situation for everyone.
Neighborhood Watch is free and requires a minimal amount of time commitment by its members.
Determine if there is a need for and an interest in a program in your neighborhood.
Speak to your neighbors. Ask about their concerns regarding crime in the neighborhood.
Schedule a meeting date and time and invite someone from the police department to guide your group in beginning a Neighborhood Watch Program.
Once you have determined you need a neighborhood watch program and a representative from the police department has discussed the elements of the program, then it is up to the neighborhood to organize its members with specific duties:
Choose a liaison between the neighborhood and the police department.
Divide your group into blocks with each block having its own captain – these are called your Block Captains. The Block Captains will be responsible for collecting and sharing of information from/with those neighbors who wish to participate in the program. You may divide the group based on streets within your neighborhood.
A block map is included in your packet. This is a version of a telephone tree which has worked in several communities; however, you (your community) will determine what works best for you. Email addresses are great as they are extremely efficient, but so are telephone numbers!
The police department cannot do the Neighborhood Watch program for you, but they will support your efforts:
- Home Security Surveys are performed, looking for vulnerable spots in the home and suggestions are made as to how to improve the security of your home. The information is kept confidential.
- Operation ID – An engraving tool is also available to residents interested in engraving their property with an identifying number, such as a telephone number.
- Neighborhood Watch Signs – The Miramar Police Department offers Neighborhood Watch Signs to communities at no charge; however, we ask that you meet at least three times in order to receive these signs. If you would like to purchase these signs on your own, you may visit www.nnwi.org for more information.