What people saying about Neighborhood Watch Programs

We have learned that different programs experience different problems when trying to start or keep their programs going. It’s easy to write down what a Neighborhood Watch Program should be and how it should work, but when you try to apply these things it doesn’t seem to workout always.

So we would like to be able to share information among the people who are working hands on with the programs and what they are experiencing.

Hopefully we can all learn from each other in keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe.

Special things to George D. Petzelt Neighborhood Watch Tollgate Village for giving us a complete breakdown of duties for Neighborhood Watch Captain and duties for members.

Block Captain Position Description (click)
Members Position Description (click)

Greetings Community Watch Paper

When we started the watch here, I hooked up wth the local sheriffs’ department, the national neighborhood watch and the NSA (national sheriffs’ association). The latter two organizations have all the materials anyone would need to start a watch program as well as training for said, all available on their respective websites.

The former, local sheriffs’, have, at least in our area, a pop officer (problem oriented policing) that coordinates with community members, neighborhood watch programs etc. and hold monthly or quarterly meetings to interface between citizens/watch program directors and the local constabulary.

These assets were more than enough to fully start and bring into operation our neighborhood watch program.

The main problem we, and from what I understand most watch programs have, is lack of participation. Many people don’t want or are simply not interested in a watch program. In our instance, the neighborhood is a senior citizen community and most were convinced that they would have to physically go out on to the streets and confront people, a completely incorrect assumption.

Watch programs are exactly that, programs where neighbors band together, watch for crimes or other area problems and simply report them to the program directors who report to authorities as necessary, or in case of an emergency type crime, call the local constabulary directly.

Those are the main good and bad parts we have experienced here, starting and maintaining a watch program. I hope this information is helpful.

Mark C. Regan
Director, The Watch
Quartermaster, CSM, 1st division, Bravo

Disabled, American Veteran
5040 Jackson street
North Highlands, CA 95660 U.S.A.

I live in Sterling Place and we have had a great Neighborhood Watch program since the beginning. We have a great group of residents and are all relatively close. I am the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator and we have a long list of Block Captains even though we only have 120 homes.

I put together packets for new residents that move in and the Block Captains deliver them. We have an Important Information Sheet with their information, i.e. phone, E-mail, emergency contacts, etc. The Block Captain keeps a copy of their group, and I have a large book of all of them, and they have been very useful in emergency situations.

These sheets are to be kept in strict confidentiality. I registered us with the National Neighborhood Watch years ago. I also send out information to the neighborhood to keep them informed about various things and it keeps us close. They seem to enjoy them. Have not had any problems setting up, fortunately and have had only 2 people want their names removed in about 14 years.

Good luck with setting Neighborhood Watches up. In these evil times, it is truly needed.

I am Founder/President of the Eastport/5 Points Neighborhood Watch. This is a public housing community, and I was told it would never work, but it has worked for 7 years, now. We were honored for being “Crime Free” in the years of 2018 and 2019.

It has been a success, because I make sure everyone has a job to do, plus at each and every meeting we have treats, a Neighbor of the month award, every January we give the Fire & Police a Chili Dinner award event. I am proud of it, and the members are all happy, ready and willing to do what it takes to have a safe neighborhood. I try to keep things enjoyable, and everyone busy. It seems to work.

These are only a few of the things we do,but I tried to cut it short.

Hello Community Watch Paper, My name is David Clement and I am an active member of Raleigh Lagrange, Fayette County TN – Crime Watch & Community Message Board Group. We have been active covering the Southwest Section of Fayette County for about 4 years.

I have a packet I have put together for anyone wanting to start up their own Crime Watch Group here in Fayette County. It can be adapted to cover any area, anywhere. I have listed Local Law Enforcement contact information as well as several websites that have some useful information. We work close with the Fayette County Sheriff Department. I am a member of the TSA and NSA, as well as being CERT Trained, and I am also a trained Weather Spotter.

I would be happy to mail you a copy of the packet, if you would send me what address to send it to.

To address any problems, the first problem we had was finding a common place to have meetings. We have been fortunate in obtaining a fellowship hall at a local church to hold all our meetings. They know that the Fayette County Sheriff or his representative always attend our meetings and are happy to let us meet there.

The other biggest problem was having Crime Watch literature available. I have downloaded several information sheets as well as ordered material and stickers online, which people love to get. I always announce at the end of the meeting, if anyone has any questions feel free to see me after the meeting, or they can private message me on Nextdoor.com or Facebook.

I also have business cards made up that I hand out if anyone wants my contact information. We also have a 30″x48″ map of the county showing what areas we are trying to reach and cover.

We have had anywhere from about 10-15 people to 45-50 with standing room only at our meetings. I always have a table in the back of the room full of free literature and Crime Watch stickers for whoever wants them, as well as a suggestion box for future meetings or whatever, all this had proven to be very positive and useful.

One of the most important tools we use is to keep the County Mayor informed of our activities as well as working close with the County Sheriff and his staff. We have been told that the Our Crime Watch is working and we are constantly getting positive feedback from the Mayor, Sheriff, and many local citizens.

We post our meetings in the local county newspaper, utilize http://www.nextdoor.com, which is free and easy to join, we have our own Facebook page, and post in several local Facebook pages to spread the word or announce our meetings. Using these methods we can reach several thousand people. We also from time to time post Crime Watch Newsletters.

We also have located some unused buildings in the county and are looking into being able to access one so we have a more central location to meet, have a mailing address, phone number, etc.We are currently meeting in the southwest area of the county off of Raleigh Lagrange Drive, and we have people from all corners of the county as well as from the neighboring counties attend our meetings.

David Clement

Problems in startup

Actually there were no problems in startup.
The Sheriff provided the leadership and publicity in which he received a great response.
Initially we had about 65 members.

Good things achieved by Neighborhood watch

  1. Met many community members of both races.
  2. Sheriff provided seminars on many topics of interest.
    A. Drugs and gangs
    B. Scams
    C. General criminal activity
    D. Good methods of safety and protection.
    E. Sheriff kept us abreast of crime in the area.

Problems with organization

  1. Maintaining membership–Current membership is 10 members
    A. Some members passed away
    B. Some members sick
    C. Some members lost interest
    D. Need a way to encourage membership.

Willie E. Lee
Chairman of West Fulton Road Neighborhood Watch (in Haywood County, Brownsville, TN)

Hi Community Watch Paper, I was a member of our community watch program in California before moving up here at the end of 2017. I was also part of the Livermore, CA, citizens volunteer program with Livermore PD.

When I came to Boise, I immediately signed up for the Boise PD citizens volunteer program and was accepted about 1 year ago. I work at City Hall during the evening council/committee meetings (before COVID-19). Just waiting to start again.

I also signed up our neighborhood to the community watch and went door-to-door to gather interest from the neighbors. I spoke to most everyone, and most were not that concerned about the local crime. During the National Night Out events, I have been traveling for work every year, so I have not been able to organize an event for us to get everyone interested. This year the work event is going to be at a different time, so I expect I could work on our neighborhood event. We were the host at the last two years in Livermore, before we left.

I work full time for Micron with lots of other activities keeping me busy, but I am interested in getting us going with this.

I may not be the best to help others get started since I am still at ground zero, but I can see what I can do. You are welcome to mention our neighborhood watch, but you might want to also note we are just getting started. 🙂

There is only one problem with neighborhood watch….

The cost to get materials. My experience is that no one wants to pay for the cost of having a regular meeting.

I have been doing ours quarterly for two years now and the ONLY reason we have a meeting is because I pay for it.

Unfortunately I find people’s interests there until it comes down to them actually doing something.

Out of 200+ invites, we usually end up with somewhere in the 10-15% range of people who show up.

Michael Toledo
1010 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica CA 90403

The primary problems we run into:
Reckless Driving
Parking Violations
Vandalism (under $1,000)
Illegal Trespass
Noise Violations
HOA Violations (Pet issues, Homecare, etc.)

George D. Petzelt
Neighborhood Watch
Tollgate Village, TN 37179

Please feel free to leave comment and\or information about your neighborhood watch program. We will make sure that others will know about you so we can all share and learn from each other. CWP

Links of Interest