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- Neighborhood Watch
Neighborhood Watch is one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime. Since 1972, when the National Sheriff's Association implemented the program, Neighborhood Watch has meant neighbors looking out for each other, working on neighborhood problems, and making themselves safer. It forges the bonds among area residents. It helps reduces neighborhood crimes and creates a partnership between law enforcement and the community.
There can’t be a law enforcement officer on every street corner, so citizen involvement is essential to combat crime. You and your neighbors are the ones who really know what is going on in your neighborhood. By cooperating with each other and the police, people can help fight crime in their community in the most effective way – before it starts.
Any community resident can join a Neighborhood Watch - young or old, single or married, renter or homeowner. You can form a Neighborhood Watch for any area: apartment complex, community recreation center, housing tract, mobile home park, or park.
Why Get Involved?
- Helps reduce crime. Throughout the country, dramatic decreases in burglary and related offenses are reported by law enforcement professionals in communities with active watch programs.
- Helps address neighborhood problems that concern you. Neighborhood Watch serves as a springboard for efforts that address concerns such as recreation for youth, child care, and traffic safety.
- Learn new skills and get experience using them. You'll learn crime prevention skills, including the ability to be the eyes and ears for law enforcement. Citizens are trained to recognize and report suspicious activities in their neighborhoods. Learn crime prevention strategies such as home security, Operation Identification, and others being implemented by citizens.
- Get your whole family involved. There is a role for everyone in Neighborhood Watch. Young children can pick up litter and take part in safety programs designed just for them. Older children can teach younger children how to stay safe. Retirees can operate telephone trees, write newsletters, and keep an eye out for daytime problems.
How Do I Start a Neighborhood Watch Program?
- Contact Crime Prevention Specialist Michelle Conlin at (949) 362-4365 or Crime Prevention Specialist Madison Simmons at (949) 362-4305.
- Explain that you would like to start a Neighborhood Watch program and ask for assistance.
- Ask about crime conditions in your neighborhood.
- Ask to have a law enforcement representative at your first meeting to discuss crime in your neighborhood.
- Click here for an informational flier that explains the Neighborhood Watch program if you and your neighbors are considering having the program and want to learn more.
How Do We Keep Your Current Neighborhood Watch Active?
It takes more than just one person to keep a Neighborhood Watch active and successful. Once a Neighborhood Watch group is established in your area, members are encouraged to watch out for one another, target harden their homes, and hold regular meetings or neighborhood events at least once or twice a year. This way everyone can keep up-to-date on current crime trends and continue to build a sense of community.
Please don't hesitate to contact the Crime Prevention Unit for ideas on keeping your Neighborhood Watch active or to schedule a refresher meeting.
Another tool to enhance your neighborhood watch program is Nextdoor, a private social network for your neighborhood. On Nextdoor, neighbors create private groups for their neighborhoods where they can ask questions, get to know one another, and exchange local advice and recommendations.