The Neighborhood Watch program is an effective way to get the community involved in crime prevention. Police officers cannot be everywhere at once, so they depend on the community to act as their eyes and ears when they are not present. Who knows better, what is going on in the community than the residents who live there?
What is Neighborhood Watch?
Residents in the community working with the police department to reduce crime and to improve the quality of life.
Residents in the community taking on a leadership role and accepting responsibility for their community.
Residents coming together to discuss their concerns which lead to developing a plan of action that addresses those concerns.
History of Neighborhood Watch
The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) started the National Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972. This program was developed in response to requests from Sheriffs and Police Chiefs nationwide wanting a crime prevention program based on citizen participation to help combat burglary.
CMPD and the Neighborhood Watch Program
CMPD adopted the Neighborhood Watch program shortly after its inception. The logo at that time was, “We are a totally involved Crime Prevention Community”. The current logo is, “Community Crime Watch” accompanied by the CMPD patch. There are approximately 260 documented active Neighborhood Watch programs in Mecklenburg County.
Neighborhood Watch is not:
A vigilante force working outside the normal procedures of law enforcement.
A program designed for participants to take personal risks to prevent crime.
A 100% guarantee that crime will not occur in your neighborhood.
Successful Neighborhood Watch programs:
Have strong leadership.
Have strong community involvement.
Have clear and concise goals which are not always crime prevention.
Responsibilities of Neighborhood Watch members:
Chairperson – Liaison between the community and the police department.
Block Captains – Facilitates the flow of information between their neighbors and the Chairperson.
Residents – Actively observe their surroundings and notify their neighbors and Block Captain when they notice something suspicious.