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How To Organize a Neighborhood Watch

If crime is becoming a problem in your neighborhood, it may be time to form a neighborhood watch.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Set an agenda for the meeting and stick to it. Focus on a few topics and leave topics open for future meetings. Schedule the next gathering to maintain momentum.
  • Step 2: Post fliers throughout the neighborhood announcing the meeting. Include police statistics on area crime.
  • TIP: Set aside time in the meeting for neighbors to express their concerns in front of the whole group.
  • Step 3: Post neighborhood watch signs to ward off potential criminals.
  • FACT: There are at least 20,000 neighborhood watch groups registered nationwide.
  • Step 4: Invite a police officer to speak at the first meeting. Request brochures or information on neighborhood watch programs from your police department.
  • TIP: Schedule the meeting on a weeknight when people are less likely to have other commitments.
  • Step 5: Survey a random selection of neighbors and ask them to identify the biggest problems that need to be addressed.
  • TIP: Make the survey brief, and assure your neighbors that it is anonymous.
  • Step 6: Walk through the neighborhood with the planning committee and decide how many blocks to include. Map the area with graph paper and pencil.
  • Step 7: Organize a meeting and invite everyone who lives within the neighborhood watch boundaries. Choose a safe place to meet, such as someone's home, a house of worship, or a school.
  • Step 8: Tell your neighbors that you are starting a neighborhood watch and enlist their help.

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