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Neighborhood Watch Program
Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, Town Watch, Crime Watch , whatever the name, it's one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear in your neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch Programs fight the isolation and separation that crime creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents and businesses, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve.

Neighborhood Watch Program
Neighborhood Watch is the cornerstone of the LAPD's crime prevention strategy. It enlists the active participation of residents, in cooperation with law enforcement, to reduce crime in communities throughout the City.
The Neighborhood Watch program was pioneered to educate community residents regarding their roles and responsibilities in the prevention of crime, and to encourage them to take active measures to prevent crime. The program calls upon residents to step forward and assist the police in organizing the community into a cohesive unit working toward the goal of building a safer and crime free neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch groups discuss neighborhood crime problems with the objective of developing solutions to local problems. LAPD Officers supply crime information to neighborhood watch organizations and instruct these groups in various crime prevention techniques.


Block Captains

The continuity and success of the Neighborhood Watch program hinges on the person referred to as the Block Captain. The "Block Captain" is a community member who acts as a liaison between those who work and/or live in a particular area, and the officers assigned to that area. Through the Block Captain, and through neighborhood general meetings, officers pass along crime prevention tips and information to members of the community. This liaison is maintained on an informal basis within the framework of the Neighborhood Watch group.


The Basic's of 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, a community organization, or a law enforcement agency can spearhead the effort to organize a Neighborhood Watch. 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. Neighborhood Watch helps build pride and serves as a springboard for efforts that address community concerns such as recreation for youth, child care, and affordable housing.


Getting Organized

When a group decides to form a Neighborhood Watch, it:

  • Contacts the police department or local crime prevention organization for help in training members in home security and reporting skills and for information on local crime patterns
  • Selects a coordinator and block captains who are responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to 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 to put up Neighborhood Watch signs, usually after at least 50 percent of all households in a neighborhood are enrolled

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. Talk about the problem 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.
  • 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.
  • Adopt a park or school playground. Pick up litter, repair broken equipment, paint over graffiti.
  • 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 Mc Gruff House or other block parent program (to help children in emergency situations). A Mc Gruff House is a reliable source of help for children in emergency or frightening situations. For information, call 801-486-8691.
  • Publish a newsletter that gives prevention tips and local crime news, recognizes residents of all ages who have "made a difference," and highlights community events.
  • Don't forget social events that give neighbors a chance to know each other - a block party, potluck dinner, volleyball softball game, or picnic
Our Thanks to the LAPD for making this information Available
Crime Prevention Section
213-485-3134

We have more information for registered members.

 

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