Here is a list of frequently asked questions, along with the answers, compiled by National Neighborhood Watch:
Q: What is Neighborhood Watch?
A: Neighborhood Watch is a nationwide crime prevention program that teaches citizens how to help themselves by identifying and reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods to local law enforcement. Neighborhood Watch Groups serve as the eyes and ears for police, who cannot be everywhere.
Q: How do I start a Neighborhood Watch?
A: First, form a small planning committee of neighbors to gauge the level of interest and potential problems, decide on a date and place for an initial Neighborhood Watch meeting, and contact your local police department or sheriff’s office and notify them of your interest in starting a Neighborhood Watch. You will then be assigned a crime prevention officer who will attend your first meeting. For more information and educational materials, or to register your Neighborhood Watch in the National Neighborhood Watch Database, go to www.nnw.org.
Q: How do I join a Neighborhood Watch in my community?
A: Call your local law enforcement agency and ask if there is a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood, and when the organization meets. If there is a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood, attend a meeting and sign up to volunteer. If there is not a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood, talk with your local law enforcement agency about your interest in starting one.
Q: What are the criteria for starting a Neighborhood Watch?
A: In order to create a Neighborhood Watch in your community, you must have established a partnership with a law enforcement agency.
Q: Who can participate in a Neighborhood Watch?
A: Members of local communities and representatives from businesses, government agencies, and a variety of organizations can participate in a Neighborhood Watch.
Q: Who trains neighborhood watch volunteers?
A: A crime prevention officer assigned by your local police department or sheriff’s office supplies initial training of volunteers. In addition, all of the materials you will need are available on the National Neighborhood Watch website’s Resource Center. Materials can be downloaded from the website.