The Neighborhood Watch Program started in the 1970s and spread throughout the nation in hopes of reducing the crime rate—and did just that. Its continuing success is reason to start or become involved with your local Neighborhood Watch. Of course, the program does not require that citizens take any unnecessary risks that may endanger them. It is simply a neighborhood alliance between residents who learn to look out for each others safety, and the local law enforcement. By working together, relationships strengthen with neighbors and police officials, bettering the fight against crime.
Benefits to joining or establishing a Neighborhood Watch in your area:
Discourages Crime: Participants are taught precautionary measures, like keeping all doors locked and the lawn groomed, that help prevent the likelihood of exposure to crime.
Diminishes Fear: Participants are instructed on how to observe and report suspicious activities in the community, so that in times of need residents are well-prepared.
Builds Friendship Among Neighbors: The Neighborhood Watch Program encourages meetings both concerning safety and social matters. As neighbors develop stronger relationships, the importance of their well-being becomes of greater concern for the community.
Advances Resident-Police Relations: Community leaders of your program will have direct contact with a representing officer. Police are glad to help any neighborhood taking the initiative to prevent crime, its beneficial for both parties!
Allows for Addressing Other Neighborhood Concerns: Meetings are open forums, bring up any issues you are concerned about—child safety, getting the sidewalk fixed, planning a block party, or improving the community’s quality of life.
To get involved or start your own Neighborhood Watch Program, the first move would be to contact your local police department. If a program is already established, the officer will have the means to connect you with the neighborhood representative in charge of planning meetings and gathering new members. If not, that officer will have the needed information for getting the program started.
Remember, participating in a Neighborhood Watch is a piece to your total home security plan. Integrate the program with your home security alarm, fire prevention, carbon monoxide detectors, and flood monitors and you and your family should remain healthy, happy, and safe. Get the community involved and keep the community secure!