Ways to implement the steps
Talk with your fellow neighbors about their concerns regarding crime and safety in the area. The primary concern in the initial phase of forming a Neighborhood Watch is to collect all of the information and develop a strategy to raise the level of awareness about concerns or issues. Get the word out about the identified problems and begin to recruit individuals who want to form the “core” Watch group. This core group will be responsible for recruiting others, meeting with local law enforcement, and building or revitalizing the Neighborhood Watch program.
Once the community concerns or neighborhood issues have been identified, citizens should meet with local law enforcement agency representatives to learn how to work together. Law enforcement officials such as police officers or sheriff’s deputies will be able to help the citizens formalize their Neighborhood Watch. They’ll register with USAonWatch to become part of the national initiative against crime and terrorism.
At an early meeting, citizen volunteers may take the initiative to prioritize concerns, and the police or sheriff’s department may want to implement crime reduction strategies. Conduct a meeting on strategic planning and identify the concerns and resources available. There needs to be a strong focus on specific objectives and realistic milestones.
Once the Watch group has been formed, and goals and objectives determined, Watch leaders and citizen volunteers should schedule meetings where they can receive training and hone their skills in crime prevention and community policing. Local law enforcement can help, and citizens can offer important crime and terrorism prevention services once they receive the proper training and instruction.
Keep the group active and enthusiastic
Take active steps in the community so everyone is aware about the Watch.
- Have a kickoff event to encourage others to get involved
- Start a Neighborhood Watch newsletter
- Continue training and emergency drills