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NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

You can form a Watch group around any geographical unit: a block, apartment, park, business area, public housing complex, office, or marina. A few concerned residents or a community organization can spearhead the effort to organize a Neighborhood Watch Group. Any community resident can join - young or old, single or married, renter or homeowner.

Members learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report activities that raise their suspicions to the police department. Watch groups are not vigilantes. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors.

The Neighborhood Watch Coordinator publishes a monthly newsletter that shares prevention tips, local crime news, recognizes residents of all ages who have "made a difference," and highlights community events.

GETTING ORGANIZED

When a group decides to form a Neighborhood Watch Group:

  • They will contact the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, Alicia Hernandez at (928) 855-1171 Ext. 5335, for assistance, in recruiting and training members, home and block safety suggestions, reporting skills and information on local crime patterns via a patrol officer.
  • Selects a watch Captain and Co-Captain(s) who are responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to other members.
  • Recruits members, keeps up-to-date on new residents and makes special efforts to involve the elderly, working parents, and young people.
  • Works with local government and law enforcement, select approximate location of Neighborhood Watch signs.

WHAT NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH MEMBERS LOOK FOR

  • Someone screaming or shouting for help
  • Someone looking into windows and parked cars
  • Unusual noises
  • Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or a business is closed
  • Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly without apparent destination, or without lights
  • Anyone being forced into a vehicle
  • A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child
  • Abandoned cars

Report these incidents to the police department and share the dilemma with your neighbors.

HOW TO REPORT

  • Give your name and address.
  • Briefly describe the event: what happened, when, where, and who was involved.
  • Describe the suspect: sex and race, age, height, weight, hair color, clothing, distinctive characteristics such as beard, mustache, scars, tattoos or accent if any.
  • Describe the vehicle if one was involved: color, make, model, year, license plate, and special features such as stickers, dents, or decals.

KEEPING YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUP ACTIVE

It's an unfortunate fact that when a neighborhood crime crisis goes away, so does enthusiasm for Neighborhood Watch. Work to keep your Watch group a vital force for community well-being.

Organize regular meetings that focus on current issues such as drug abuse, "hate" or bias-motivated violence, crime in schools, child care before and after school, recreational activities for young people, and victim services.

Organize community patrols to walk around streets or apartment complexes and alert police to crime and suspicious activities and identify problems needing attention. People in cars with cellular phones or CB radios can patrol.

Work with local building code officials to require dead bolt locks, smoke alarms, and other safety devices in new and existing homes and commercial buildings.

Work with parent groups and schools to start a McGruff House or a Block Parent program (to help children in emergency situations). A McGruff House/Block Parent is a reliable source of help for children in emergency or frightening situations.

Don't forget social events that allow and encourage neighbors to get to know each other; like a block party, a potluck dinner, volleyball or softball game, or a picnic.

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