Neighborhood Watch Program
Neighborhood Watch is a safety program designed to bring together law enforcement agencies, community organizations, businesses and individual residents in an effort to deter and reduce crime in neighborhoods. As one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention programs in the country, it was created in 1972 and developed in response to requests from sheriffs and police chiefs seeking a crime prevention program involving citizens. Neighborhood Watch programs are an effective tool in fighting crime.
In a Neighborhood-Watch community, neighbors communicate and keep watch on each others’ homes and property, especially when someone is away. They report any suspicious activity to law enforcement and become an active contributor to a safer neighborhood. Working collaboratively with area law enforcement, Neighborhood Watch communities develop a closer sense of community, often building long-term friendships with each other. A neighborhood Watch system is easy to establish, simply by getting to know your neighbors and being willing to communicate crime and non-crime neighborhood related information.
By forming a watch group, you make it known that you won’t tolerate criminal activity in your community and you make your community less attractive for potential criminals. The program is simple and inexpensive, yet highly effective in the fight against crime. Statistics indicate that communities with active Neighborhood Watch programs show a marked decrease in burglaries and related crimes.
Download this brochure which explains the Neighborhood Watch Program in more detail. For those interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group see our handbook and for those intrested in starting a Business Watch group see that handbook for more information. In each handbook the last page can be hung in your window to show your involvement.
Fact Vs. Fiction
|Neighborhood Watch is:||Neighborhood Watch is not:|
A community - police partnership.
|Citizens armed and on patrol.|
Neighbors coming together to help each other from becoming victims of crime.
|Collaboration to address community issues.||
Encouraging residents to take risks to prevent crimes.
Learning and practicing Crime Prevention through Environmental Design.
A program that guarantees that a crime will not occur in a neighborhood.
Learning to identify suspicious activity and reporting the activity to neighbors and the law enforcement.
A politically affiliated group.
Generally live on the same street.
A neighborhood association.
|Normally consist of 5-25 homes per group.||
A law enforcement entity.
Some Reasons Why You Should Start a Neighborhood Watch
- There are a limited number of deputies patrolling the County at any given time. Citizens become extra eyes and ears for each other and law enforcement.
- Communication between you, your neighbors and the Sheriff’s Office will enhance the safety of your neighborhood.
- You become more educated on how to spot suspicious activity and more in-tune to your surroundings.
- Citizens and law enforcement working together to rid our neighborhoods of crime and social decay is truly Community Oriented Policing at its finest.
- Your family deserves a safer neighborhood.
It’s actually very simple. There are three main responsibilities of Neighborhood Watch members: observation, communication and security.
- Observation is paying attention to what is happening around you. Keep an eye out for your neighbors and their property as well as your own. Residents are the best experts on what is normal and acceptable in their own neighborhood.
Communication is simply passing on your observations or information you receive. If you witness suspicious behavior or discover a crime, report it to the Sheriff’s Office immediately.
- For emergencies, dial 911
- Otherwise call the non-emergency Dispatch line at 390-5555
- Security involves each person taking a critical look at their home, their habits and the entire neighborhood to ensure the area is not inviting to criminals. This includes assessing physical security measures, lighting, clean up and other features to create the safest environment possible.
National Night Out Program
Each year on the first Tuesday in August, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office participates in the National Night Out Program. Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, this nation-wide crime prevention event invites citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, and local officials in all 50 states for an evening of cookouts and block parties in support of local anticrime programs. This event reminds us of the by-gone days where folks left their doors unlocked and were not afraid to let their children run and play in the neighborhoods. By promoting this event, we hope to encourage neighbors to meet one another, strengthen neighborhood spirit, reinforce community/law enforcement partnerships, and send the message to criminals that these involved neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
N S A Neighborhood Watch Manual: http://www.vcpionline.org/pdfs/NSA%20watch%20manual.pdf
National Crime Prevention Council Neighborhood Watch Page: http://www.ncpc.org/topics/home-and-neighborhood-safety/neighborhood-watch
To find out if your neighborhood is protected by Neighborhood Watch, or to request information, contact Neighborhood Watch Coordinator at 520-7151 or fill out the Community Relations Event Information & Scheduling Request Form