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Five Steps to Building a Successful Neighborhood Watch

Home > Neighborhood Watch Program > Five Steps to Building a Successful Neighborhood Watch

Five Steps to Building a Successful Neighborhood Watch

Guidelines from Neighborhood Watch-USAonWatch

Five Steps to Building a Successful Neighborhood Watch in Your Area

Neighborhood Watch began as a grassroots effort more than 30 years ago to protect homes from burglary. The importance of watch groups has risen in recent years due to its integral part in the nation's homeland security strategy.

Neighborhood Watch-USAonWatch  encourages  education and common sense as it strives to involve citizens in crime prevention and emergency preparedness. It teaches citizens how to help themselves by identifying and reporting suspicious activity in their community. Also, citizens have the opportunity to give back to their  neighborhood by working together to make the community safer as well as improve the neighborhood's quality of life.

A Neighborhood Watch program is easy to start. All you need to do is have a meeting with your neighbors. Do not forget to invite a representative from your local law enforcement. Neighborhood Watch programs are built upon successful partnerships with law enforcement.

Use the suggestions below to build an effective and successful Neighborhood Watch Group.

Step 1
Talk with your fellow neighbors about their concerns regarding crime in the area and determine the level of interest others have in starting a Watch Group. While it may be hard to have every household involved, incorporating as many of your neighbors as possible will increase the likelihood for success in reducing crime.

Step 2
Contact your local law enforcement agency and invite them to meet with your group at a time and place convenient to your Watch Group members. It is essential for your group to work in collaboration with law enforcement. Neighborhood Watch is a cooperative effort. Law enforcement needs to let the citizens know what is expected of them and Neighborhood Watch Group members and the citizens need to let law enforcement know what their concerns are within the community.

Step 3
Working with a law enforcement advisor, your Watch Group should identify patterns of crime in the area and develop strategies to address these problems. Your group will need to appoint a block captain to coordinate these efforts as well as design a phone tree for reporting crime and suspicious activities.

Step 4
Have law enforcement train your Watch Group members in terrorism awareness, emergency preparedness/emergency response, and basic crime prevention techniques.

Step 5
Take active steps in your community. Have a kickoff event to announce your formation and to encourage others to get involved. Start a Neighborhood Watch newsletter, schedule times for Watch members to conduct or attend citizen patrols, training, emergency drills, and crime prevention exercises.

It is important to keep your group active and enthusiastic. Maintaining communication between group members and your local law enforcement agency is important. Be sure to schedule regular meetings so that your group remains focused.

If all those involved in the Neighborhood Watch program are aiming for the same goal, the program will be successful. Please remember, this is not an overnight process; it takes patience, planning, and dedication. Studies show that if a Neighborhood Watch program deteriorates, criminals notice and quickly resume illegal activities. For additional resources and to learn about what other groups are doing, visit www.usaonwatch.org or contact the National Neighborhood Watch Program at [email protected]

For training on these concepts or for more information, please contact the National Neighborhood Watch-USAonWatch.org program at [email protected]
or 1-800-424-7827.


Dreamland Villa Retirement Community
320 N. 55th Place, Mesa, AZ 85205
(480) 832-3461
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