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Neighborhood Watch Starting Guide
What is Neighborhood Watch?
Neighborhood Watch is a program where groups of residents organize to help prevent crime in their neighborhoods. Neighbors work closely together to be on the lookout for suspicious activity and report it to the police. It is one of the most effective crime-prevention programs in the country today. An alert and unified neighborhood is the best defense against crime.
Why does Neighborhood Watch work?
- Neighbors get to know neighbors.
- Residents learn to recognize “normal” activity in the neighborhood and what is “suspicious” activity.
- Residents learn crime-prevention strategies that reduce their chance of becoming a victim.
- Neighbors improve communication and learn to solve problems together.
- Neighborhood Watch members collaborate with Roseville Police Department by reporting possible criminal. Often this results in arrests and removal of criminals from the community.
Why start a Neighborhood Watch?
There cannot be a Roseville police officer on every corner. Therefore, citizen involvement is essential to reduce crime. You and your neighbors are the one who really know what is going on in your neighborhood. By cooperating with each other and the police, you can help reduce crime in your neighborhood.
How do I start a Neighborhood Watch program?
Use this “Neighborhood Watch Starter Guide” to help you get your group started. If you have a few neighbors that can help, it will make starting easier and more fun too. Enclosed in the packet you will find everything you need to start a Neighborhood Watch Program. If you have questions along the way, contact Community Services by leaving a message on our voice line at 774-5050 or emailing us at PDcommunityservices@roseville.ca.us. We are here to help and answer any questions you may have about Neighborhood Watch.
Click here for your Neighborhood Watch Starter Guide.
Steps to Starting a Neighborhood Watch Group
- Determine if there is interest in having a program in your neighborhood.
- Define your neighborhood geographically. Start small so you and your neighbors can get to know each other. You can always add homes/areas later. Sketch out a map of the area include streets and homes or find one on the internet (Example). If you know what Neighborhood Association you belong to you can get a detailed map of the area from the RCONA site
Explain Neighborhood Watch and its benefits. (use our Write down your neighbors’ issues and concerns. Ask the best time and day for a meeting. Exchange contact information and let them know you will be in contact with them on a date for the meeting. Leave a flyer for those that are not home (Neighborhood Watch Information Letter.)Schedule a place and time for your meeting. It is best to have 2-3 dates to work with. The meeting can be at a residence or at a public place like a park or pizza parlor. Begin planning your first Neighborhood Watch meeting. (Checklist )
- Find a neighbor or two that can help you get your Neighborhood Watch group organized. Determine who will be the Block Captain or Co-Captains. ( Suggested Responsibilities) This can also be done at your 1st meeting
If you have any more questions or need more help getting started. Contact us at (9l6) 774-5050 or PDcommunityservices@roseville.ca.us
Checklist for the First Neighborhood Watch Meeting ()
- Have nametags.
- Provide plenty of seating.
- Have refreshments available. (optional)
Allow enough time before and after the meeting for neighbors to socialize.
- Pass out an attendance sheet where neighbors can list their name, address, phone numbers and email (sign-in sheet).
- Have a meeting agenda (download example agenda).
- Remember, the Police Department personnel are invited guests. To begin the meeting, introduce your guests. Take time to have your neighbors introduce themselves and where they live.
After the introductions and any announcements, you want to turn the time over to the Police Department. Allow at least 20-30 minutes for the Police Department’s presentation.
(Please place the officer first on your agenda. Please note that your neighborhood Beat Officer will be invited to your meeting. He/she is on duty and may be called away during the meeting.)
We suggest you highlight the houses in your Neighborhood Watch group. If you need assistance creating a map, contact us at PDcommunityServices@roseville.ca.us or call and leave a message at (916) 774-5050.
Block Captain Responsibilities
Try to Schedule a minimum of 2 meetings a year. Quarterly is recommended.
- Schedule a minimum of 2 meetings a year. Quarterly is recommended.
- Maintain a contact list for your group including names, addresses, phone numbers & e-mail addresses.
- Email Monthly newsletter. Keep up contact with your block by e-mailing and sharing the information from our newsletter with your group. This can be a great topic starter if you are having a meeting.( Public Safety News & Tips )
- Distribute police department “No Soliciting” signs and Neighborhood Watch window decals to neighbors who want them. (Available by contacting the Police at PDcommunityServices@roseville.ca.us)
- Share timely crime prevention information and news with group members.
- Greet new neighbors and invite them to join.
- Sign up for e-notify at www.roseville.ca.us/enotify to receive weekly alerts and reports with Public Safety News.
- Order Neighborhood Watch signs. Available by contacting RCONA for all active Neighborhood Association members for a discount, for a limited time (here). They are also available at the National Neighborhood Watch Institute (NNWI ) [www.nnwi.org - Order “Boris the Burglar”]
- Take the Neighborhood Watch signs to the police department for assistance with installation.
Neighborhood Watch Member Responsibilities
- Be alert to suspicious activity in your neighborhood and report it to the police immediately.
- Get to know your neighbors; learn to identify anyone who does not belong in the neighborhood.
- Secure your home and personal property by using window and door locks; leave outside porch lights on overnight.
- Attend neighborhood meetings.
- Tell a trusted neighbor if you are going on vacation; leave a phone number where you can be contacted (request a “Vacation Check” from the Roseville Police.)
- Do not take any personal risks by approaching suspected criminals. Always call the police.
- Call 911 immediately if you see a crime in progress.