Neighborhood Watch is a community policing partnership program that depends on citizen involvement to prevent and discourage crime and reduce fear by taking certain home, property and personal self-protection precautions.
"It's really about getting to know your neighbors, looking out for them and reporting crimes and suspicious activities to the police," said Beat 1 Crime Prevention Officer Eric Babnew. "There are many benefits to the program."
Residents interested in starting new programs should enlist the support of half the neighbors on their block. A crime prevention officer will then meet with neighbors to discuss the following details of the program:
- Neighborhood Watch rules and duties
- "Telephone Tree" block map for quick contact with your neighbors
- street signs and window stickers
- home security surveys and participation in Operation I.D.
- flexible get-togethers that focus on residents' needs, concerns and interests
"The cost to start a program involves a commitment of time," said Babnew. "Besides preventing crime and reducing fear, Neighborhood Watch builds pride, forges bonds among block residents, improves citizen-police relations and can address other block issues and concerns like child safety, youth development, senior citizen welfare and quality-of-life."
Participants enjoy an ongoing dialogue with police on many topics including:
- basic crime prevention measures to safeguard you, your home, and valuables
- direct telephone contacts to crime prevention officer
- cooperative surveillance and how to recognize suspicious activity
- how to handle city ordinance "nuisance" violations
- how to deal with suspected drug activity
- experts to speak, instruct or train at Neighborhood Watch get-togethers.
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