What is a Neighborhood Crime Watch?
Decades ago crime rates across the U.S. increased at an alarming pace. Citizens and law enforcement agencies focused on developing crime prevention programs to help reduce this growing trend. In 1972 the National Sheriff’s Association organized the National Neighborhood Watch Program. This pilot program was funded by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration of the U.S. Department of Justice and was designed to enlist the participation of citizens with law enforcement to help reduce and prevent crime. Since then Neighborhood Crime Watch has become one of the most effective means of fighting crime in our neighborhoods because you and your neighbors are the ones who really know what is going on in your area, most likely to be the first to see a crime and call 911 for help.

Throughout our country, dramatic decreases in burglary and related offenses have been reported by law enforcement professionals in communities with active Neighborhood Crime Watch programs. Neighborhood Crime Watches are organized by the police department and participants are required to undergo a series of training sessions to learn how to recognize and report crimes, suspicious activities as well as how to protect yourself, your family, your property, and also that of your neighbors. Neighborhood Crime Watch is a crime prevention program of mutual assistance and cooperation between the police department and active participation of neighbors to reduce crime and illicit activity. Neighborhood Crime Watch also fights the isolation and fear that crime both creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds amongst neighbors, enhances community security through heightened awareness, educational training and open communication between police and neighbors.

Participating in a Neighborhood Crime Watch allows neighbors an opportunity to form positive relationships with one another and with city police department officers specifically assigned to their neighborhood to reduce and eliminate crime-related activities. The area covered by a Neighborhood Crime Watch normally ranges from several homes on a few streets to several blocks with homes on both sides of the streets. Neighborhood Crime Watch is not an invitation for vigilante groups to operate outside of the law.

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1. What is a Neighborhood Crime Watch?
2. What is a Neighborhood Association?
3. How do I successfully build a neighborhood organization?