The modern version of Neighborhood Watch was sponsored by the National Sheriffs Association and developed in response to requests from sheriffs and police chiefs who were looking for a crime prevention program that would involve citizens and address an increasing number of burglaries. Neighborhood Watch counts on citizens to organize themselves and work with law enforcement to keep a trained eye and ear on their communities while demonstrating their presence at all times of day and night.
Neighborhood Watches are usually formed from a small planning committee of neighbors that discuss the needs of their community and gauge the level of interest and potential problems. After these community groups decide to start a Neighborhood Watch, they contact Racine Neighborhood Watch, Inc. (who will coordinate with local law enforcement) to hold an initial Neighborhood Watch meeting. Once the partnership with Racine Neighborhood Watch, Inc. is established, their office will supply initial training of resident volunteers in areas such as home security, crime reporting, property maintenance, and other Neighborhood Watch basics.
Racine Neighborhood Watch, Inc.
Block Watches are a simple program of neighbors watching out for each other. It is designed to enlist the active participation of citizens in cooperation with law enforcement to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.
- It is becoming acquainted with your neighbors.
- It is working together to identify and solve problems in our community.
- It is helping law enforcement by being aware of and reporting any unusual activities as they occur. You know best what "normal" activity in your neighborhood is.
- It is the implementation of crime prevention techniques to enhance home security.
It is important to note that Block Watches are not vigilantes. They do not take enforcement action, are not authorized to carry weapons, and are encouraged to avoid physical contact. Rather, they only observe and report.
The biggest difference between COP (Community Oriented Policing) programs and Neighborhood Block Watches is that COP programs are initiated and sponsored by local law enforcement, and Neighborhood Block Watches are organized and managed by community residents.
How Do I Get Started?
Your Neighborhood Block Watch can be started in five (5) easy steps:
1. Recruit and organize as many neighbors as possible
2. Contact Racine Neighborhood Watch, Inc. to schedule a Block Watch meeting and presentation
3. At your meeting, discuss community concerns and develop an action plan. Racine Neighborhood Watch, Inc. and local law enforcement will explain how you can create an alert neighborhood by using simple crime prevention methods
4. Hold regular meetings and train
5. Implement acommunication system (phone tree, email, closed Facebook) and take action steps
Interested? Want to learn more about organizing your Block Watch?
Call (262) 637-5711