|Starting a Neighborhood Watch
Phase Two: When the neighborhood decides to adopt the
Watch Idea, elect a chairperson.
• Ask for block captain volunteers who are responsible for
relaying information to members on their block, keeping
up-to-date information on residents, and making special
efforts to involve the elderly, working parents, and young
people. Block captains also can serve as liaisons between
the neighborhood and the police and communicate information
about meetings and crime incidents to all residents.
• Establish a regular means of communicating with Watch
newsletter, telephone tree, e-mall, fax, etc.
• Prepare a neighborhood map showing names, addresses, and
phone numbers of participating households and distribute to
members. Block captains keep this map up to date, contacting
newcomers to the neighborhood and rechecking occasionally
with ongoing participants.
• With guidance from a law enforcement agency, the Watch
trains its members in home security techniques, observation
skills and crime reporting. Residents also learn about the
types of crime that affect the area.
• If you are ready to post Neighborhood Watch signs, check
with law enforcement to see if they have such eligibility
requirements as number of houses that participate in the
program. Law enforcement may also be able to provide your
program with signs. If not, they can probably tell you where
you can order them.
• Organizers and block captains must emphasize that Watch
groups are not vigilantes and do not assume the role of the
police. They only ask neighbors to be alert, observant, and
caring—and to report suspicious activity or crimes
immediately to the police.
• The Watch concept is adaptable. There are Park Watches,
Apartment Watches, Window Watches, Boat Watches, School
Watches, Realtor Watches, Utility Watches, and Business
Watches. A Watch can be organized around any geographic