What Is Neighborhood Watch
A Neighborhood Watch program is a group of people living in the same area who want to make their neighborhood safer by working together and in conjunction with local law enforcement to reduce crime and improve their quality of life. Neighborhood Watch (NW) groups have regular meetings to plan how they will accomplish their specific goals and leaders with assigned responsibilities. Neighborhood Watch is homeland security at the most local level. It is an opportunity to volunteer and work towards increasing the safety and security of our homes and our homeland. Neighborhood Watch empowers citizens and communities to become active in emergency preparedness, as well as the fight against crime and community disasters.
Activities conducted by Neighborhood Watch groups across the country are as diverse and varied as their volunteers and the neighborhoods they represent. Some groups mobilize to patrol neighborhoods, other distribute crime prevention information, while business assessments or home security surveys are conducted by others. Where disorder problems are the primary focus of Neighborhood Watch members, volunteers mobilize and conduct neighborhood cleanups, or work with faith-based organizations to assist with the homeless and mentally ill who wander the streets. As law enforcement officers learn the needs of their various Neighborhood Watch groups and the dynamics of their volunteers, they can tailor activities and responses to meet the ever-changing needs of their citizens.
What Are the Benefits of a Neighborhood Watch
There are obvious benefits Neighborhood Watch volunteers and their communities have experienced throughout the years such as:
- Crime reduction
- A better quality of life
- A greater sense of security, responsibility, and personal control
- Build community pride and unity
- Preparing for helping ourselves and others in our community
- Provide law enforcement agencies with volunteer support year round
How Do I Start a Neighborhood Watch
There are five steps to building a successful Neighborhood Watch. Building a strong Neighborhood Watch program is not an overnight process: it takes patience, planning, and dedication. However, a successful program will keep a community strong and protected and when a crime or emergency happens, they will be more ready. Keep these Five Steps in mind when starting your group.
The Stow Police Department works through the National Neighborhood Watch.
For more detailed information on starting your Stow Neighborhood Watch, obtain the National Neighborhood Watch Action Pack.
To register your Stow Neighborhood Watch Group and to learn more about what is offered, visit the National Neighborhood Watch website.
To purchase National Neighborhood Watch signs visit the National Neighborhood Watch Institute.
For guidance on how to start your Stow Neighborhood Watch, contact the Stow Police Department Neighborhood Watch Liaison Lieutenant Erik Dirker.