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How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Program

Lori - August 10, 2018

Learn how to start a neighborhood watch group.


You Will Need
A person or group of people committed to starting a Neighborhood Watch.
A planning committee to initiate the program.
A list of what issues initially need to be addressed in your community.
A means of communicating with the residents (e-mail, fliers, telephone trees, etc.)
Publicity for the initial Neighborhood Watch meeting.
A meeting agenda to keep things moving and on track.
A place to meet (resident’s home or apartment, community center, school, library, etc.)
A crime prevention officer to discuss the crime issues in the neighborhood and to help train members.
A map of the community with spaces for names, addresses, and phone numbers of all households.
A sign-up sheet for those interested in becoming a block or building captains. Brochures or other materials on topics of interest to the residents.
Neighborhood Watch signs to be posted around the community. Some jurisdictions require a minimum number of participants before Neighborhood Watch signs can be posted.
Facts about crime in your neighborhood. These can be found in police reports, newspapers, and residents’ perception of crime. Often residents’ opinions are not supported by facts, and accurate information can reduce fear of crime.
Generate Excitement
Mix business with pleasure and allow attendees time to socialize.
Seek out neighborhood go-getters, such as civic leaders and elected officials, to be your advocates and mentors.
Work with existing organizations such as citizens’ association, tenants’ association, or housing authorities.
Provide speakers on topics of community interest.
Link crime prevention into activities promoted by other groups: child protection, anti-vandalism projects, community service, arson prevention, recreation activities for young people.
Start a neighborhood newsletter.
Arrange for McGruff to make a surprise appearance at a meeting, rally, or other events.
In this download, you will find two checklists: one will help you get everything you need and the other will help you generate excitement and interest with your neighbors to get them involved!