Neighborhood Watch has been around for many years. It is the most successful crime prevention programs ever developed. The Neighborhood Watch program has served to improve the overall well-being and quality of life for the entire community. It could benefit your community, if you give it a chance.
Tell your neighbors you are starting a Neighborhood Watch Program. Explain benefits of having a Watch program.
Determine the best night for a Neighborhood Watch meeting. Contact the Crime Prevention Unit to see if they can attend. If they can, schedule them to appear about 30 minutes after the start of your meeting.
Have the meeting at someone's home in the neighborhood; you can combine it with a picnic or a potluck. Tell your neighbors you would appreciate their attendance at the start-up meeting.
Deliver meeting announcement and distribute copies of the "What to do before the burglar comes" booklet, an Operation Identification form, and a Family Information sheet.
Collect the Operation Identification and Family Information forms prior to the meeting. Prepare a block map of your neighborhood, a block profile sheet, and a telephone tree so you can hand them out at the meeting.
Use the first meeting agenda as a guide to conduct the initial meeting. Hold to the meeting to a reasonable time limit to keep interest, no more than 1 1/2 hours in length. Remember, the mind will only retain as much as the behind can endure.
Keep in mind the important elements of a successful gathering, the three F's, Food, Fun and Free.
Invite the neighbors to bring their kids and arrange for older children in the neighborhood to oversee their activities during the meeting.
Think of ways to involve the youth in the Neighborhood Watch group, too many people forget them and their importance to making a neighborhood a safer and more pleasant place to live.
- The organizer of the meeting calls the meeting to order and thank everyone for attending.
- Have everyone attending stand and introduce themselves, where they live, what they drive, and anything else they would like to relate to the group.
- Have everyone sign the attendance Meeting Sign In sheet.
- Elect or appoint a Block Captain or Co-Captains.
- Collect the Operation Identification and Family Information forms. If some of the attendees have not completed the forms take a couple of minutes to allow them to do so at this time. Do not pressure anyone to fill these forms out, this is completely voluntary.
- When the police department representative arrives, turn the meeting over to them and allow them to talk with the attendees regarding their concerns about the neighborhood and the community overall. They can ask questions of either a general or specific nature, the time is theirs.
- Tell the attendees that you will complete the block map, telephone tree, and the block profile sheet, make copies, and distribute it to all of them within the next week or so.
- Thank everyone for attending.
- Adjourn the meeting.
- The Block Captain's geographical area of responsibility for the Neighborhood Watch is usually relatively small. Small blocks are easier to manage and make it more likely that the neighbors will get acquainted. What boundaries make sense for your individual neighborhood?
- Prepare for the Neighborhood Watch meetings.
- Conduct the Neighborhood Watch meetings.
- Complete and distribute a block map, telephone tree, and block profile sheet.
If you are interested in learning more about Neighborhood Watch E-mail the Crime Prevention Unit or call them at (507) 328-6890.