The Neighborhood Watch Program started in 1972 as a way to help assist law enforcement and citizens. The objective of the program is to strengthen and secure communities through disaster preparedness, emergency response, and terrorism awareness. When you start your own neighborhood watch it establishes a system that acts as a monitor in addition to law enforcement. Starting a neighborhood watch group is an opportunity to work toward increasing the safety and security of both your home and your community.
According to a report done by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, about 60% of convicted burglars said the presence of a security system influenced their decision to target another home. The same principal applies to areas with neighborhood watch programs. Burglars are less likely to target areas where communities and people are looking out for each other because there is more risk involved in committing crime.
Benefits of a neighborhood watch group
- Stronger and more united communities
- Crime reduction
- Active partnership with local law enforcement
Starting a Neighborhood Watch
All it takes to start a neighborhood watch program is one motivated individual who wants to see change in their community, and the first step is finding mutual interest. Connect with your neighbors and gauge interest to put together a small team that can meet regularly to discuss possible community problems and needs. You will also want to consider how you will keep momentum in order to foster participation. Regular meetings and assigning everyone specific duties are ways you can avoid stagnancy, and keep member activity at a high rate.
- Continue cooperation and attendance by planning community events that help create awareness of the neighborhood watch. Have fun with it!
- Creating a group email, or social media page will also help keep communication high and inform participants of upcoming meetings and events
- Select a coordinator who is able to organize meetings and take suggestions for new ideas
- Talk about your community’s primary concerns and create goals for the neighborhood watch
- Register your neighborhood watch group here
- The National Neighborhood Watch website provides information about starting a neighborhood watch, resources for watch groups, and ways to connect with your local law enforcement agency among other helpful tips and tricks
One of the biggest benefits of having a Neighborhood Watch in your community is the connection you can make with your local police department. As a way to reinforce collaborative effort, your local police department should be invited to your first meeting. They may have additional resources for you to use including educational information and signage. Additionally, they will be alerted to patrol your area more often. An effective neighborhood watch is one that has a strong, working relationship with community law enforcement agencies.
Do you have an existing Neighborhood Watch program?
EPS Security would be happy to help! We have experience with communities experiencing recent crime, a break-in or simply addressing other home safety and security issues. Our EPS team can attend your local Neighborhood Watch meeting to present on the newest trends in home security, help build a neighborhood security plan, or simply provide basic information on our professionally monitored home security solutions. All of this information can be provided free of charge. We are a life safety company at our core and will always do our best to help families feel safe and secure in their homes.
Simply interested in learning more about what we do?