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How to Launch Neighborhood Watch Program in Your Community


Click to edit Master Neighborhood Watch title style • According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, crimes have a lasting effect on communities as well as individuals. • A Neighborhood Watch program can help to decrease crime and bring your community together. What is a Neighborhood Watch Program? According to the USAOnWatch.org, the national Neighborhood Watch organization and a part of the National Sheriffs’ Association, a neighborhood watch allows citizens to help in the fight against crime and offers an opportunity for communities to bond through service.


Click to edit Master Neighborhood Watch title style Steps for Starting a Neighborhood Watch Program

1. Get educated.  You can sign up your neighborhood watch group at USAOnWatch.org (http://www.usaonwatch.org/register/default.aspx) to gain additional resources to help you organize and manage your group.  USAonWatch.org offers a brochure that will help you explain the benefits of the organization to community members. (http://www.usaonwatch.org/assets/sample_docs/Neighborhood_WatchDraft12-12.pdf)

 You will also want to gather facts about crime statistics in your neighborhood.


Click to edit Master Neighborhood Watch title style Steps for Starting a Neighborhood Watch Program

2. Organize your core group of Neighborhood Watch volunteers.  Talk to your neighbors and invite them to attend an initial presentation.  Making one-on-one connections by going door to door is often the best way to reach prospective volunteers.  One person per 8 to 10 households is typically recommended.  Choose an optimal night of the week for the introductory presentation; weekends are not advised for best attendance.


Click to edit Master Neighborhood Watch title style Steps for Starting a Neighborhood Watch Program

3. Contact your local law enforcement agency and invite them to participate.  Invite them to meet with your group.  This will create a valuable communication channel with your local agency.  Law enforcement should be able to share valuable information about how to keep your community members safe and how to handle incidents should they occur.


Click to edit Master Neighborhood Watch title style Steps for Starting a Neighborhood Watch Program

4. Provide training. ďƒ˜ Local law enforcement can often provide training for Neighborhood Watch volunteers including learning how to report suspicious activity and crime prevention techniques such as home security, personal safety and Operation Identification. ďƒ˜ Specialized training for the coordinator and Block captains is also often provided.


Click to edit Master Neighborhood Watch title style Steps for Starting a Neighborhood Watch Program

5. Give community members a forum to share concerns and develop an action plan.  With or without your local law enforcement agency, you will want to host a neighborhood meeting to allow community members to discuss issue and concerns.  Having information about neighborhood crime statistics can be very informative.  Sometimes, residents' opinions are not supported by facts, and accurate information can reduce the fear of crime.  From this meeting, the neighborhood watch group can create a plan for addressing the top concerns.


Click to edit Master Neighborhood Watch title style Steps for Starting a Neighborhood Watch Program

6. Decide on a communication and follow up plan.  Talk to group members about how they wish to communicate and be communicated with.  Phone trees, email and social media can all be good options as long as everyone agrees to the method of participation.  Set up a regular monthly or more frequent meeting schedule to engage community members and respond to issues.  Regular newsletters and updates are also advised to keep the community engaged.  You can order Neighborhood Watch signs at USAonWatch.org.


Click to edit Master ABOUT THE AUTHOR: title style

Jason Tucker is VP of AAM Edge Sales, a dynamic and exciting new online community from Associated Asset Management that delivers trusted and relevant information to homeowners. Learn more about Neighborhood Watch by visiting http://www.HomeownerResources.com.


How to Launch Neighborhood Watch Program in Your Community