Protecting Your Community
What is the Best crime Prevention Device ever invented? A good Neighbor!
You may hear it called Neighborhood Watch, Home Alert, Citizen Crime Watch or Block Watch. The names differ, but the idea is the same: "Neighbors looking out for each other."
Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention programs in the country and can be traced back to the colonial days, when night watchmen patrolled the streets. In 1972, the modern day Neighborhood Watch programs launched. The mission of the program is to bring citizens together with law enforcement to deter crime and make communities safer. The program relies on citizens to organize themselves and keep a trained eye and ear on their communities. Neighborhood Watch is successful, not because it change the criminal's behavior or motivation, but because it reduces opportunities for crime to occur. .
BENEFITS OF A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
Law enforcement cannot be on every corner, so citizen involvement is essential to combat crime. You and your neighbors are the ones who really know what is going on in your community. Your eyes and ears are tenfold that of the officers assigned to work the city. By cooperating with each other and the police, people can help fight crime in their community in the most effective way before it begins!
Neighborhood Watch groups are not vigilantes and should not assume the role of the police. Their duty is to ask neighbors to be alert, observant, and caring - and to report suspicious activity or crimes immediately to the police
HOW TO SET UP A BLOCK WATCH PROGRAM IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Getting a Block Watch started only takes a few simple steps. Contact KDPS Community Policing Unit and ask for assistance. (Using this website, you can go directly to your neighborhood page and email your Community Policing Officer now!)
Talk to your neighbors and discuss the crime problems in the area and explain the value of coming together to protect your neighborhood. No advanced training is needed; just awareness, concern, and the ability to share what is observed with others.
Next arrange a meeting. Meetings don't have to be frequent, once every three months is sufficient. Meetings should be held within the community, preferably at a home to foster an informal, comfortable atmosphere. At the meetings, greet your neighbors and cover neighborhood concerns.
Every program needs a leader or a voice to be successful. A Block Captain is recommended, and is an important role for a successful and long running neighborhood watch.
A Block Captain serves as a liaison between the neighborhood and law enforcement. A Block Captain will organize and arrange meetings, keep a master list of members, relay information to them, and actively recruit new members into the program. A Block leader position should be rotated on a regular scheduled basis and should share the workload and responsibilities.
A key to keeping a Block Watch group active is maintaining people's interest over time. A Block Watch program is not only to deter crime, but a chance to bond and meet neighbors and small businesses in a community. Block Watches should also organize potlucks, sponsor neighborhood beautification rallies, and home and personal security presentations. It is a chance to meet your neighbors, reduce social isolation, and create a cohesive and safer neighborhood.
• Open communication is a very key component. A phone tree, email list, or newsletter is highly recommended and encouraged.
• E-POLICING is an advanced electronic information network that can be utilized as a valuable resource too. E-policing can be accessed on the home page (of this website) and provides direct links to blight, crime prevention, community events, crime statistics, and local ordinance information. E-policing allows access to a variety of helpful and informative sites with a simple click.
• Anyone can participate in a Block watch. People who seldom leave their homes can assist as "window watchers," looking out for children and reporting any suspicious activities.
• Include every neighbor, by make meetings accessible. Consider language barriers and culture barriers. Consider a translator and providing programs & drug/ crime prevention information in multiple languages.
• Encourage neighbors to take pride in their homes, by beautifying the neighborhood, removing abandoned autos or reporting overgrown vacant lots & graffiti. Also light up the neighborhood at night by keeping outdoor lights on at night, and eliminating easy targets for vandals or burglars.
• Small businesses should also be considered. Work to repair rundown storefronts, clean up littered streets and create jobs for young people to bolster community pride.