What is Community Watch?
- A Community Watch groups can be the "eyes and ears" of law enforcement.
- Community Watch is a crime prevention program that enlist the active participation of residences, in cooperation with law enforcement, to reduce crime and victimization in their communities. It involves:
- Residents using common sense crime prevention practices to protect themselves and their property.
- Neighbors getting together in programs of mutual assistance to prevent crime.
- Residents being trained to recognize and report suspicious activity in their neighborhood.
A Community Watch is not:
- A vigilante group
- Residents pursuing criminal or becoming physically involved in the criminal event
- Taking the law into your hands.
- Not an employee or agent for the police department.
Why Start a Community Watch?
Police officers cannot be everywhere, so community involvement is essential. You and your neighbors are the ones who really know what is going on in your community. By cooperating with each other and the police, you can help reduce crime in your community in the most effective way -- by preventing it.
Why do residents mobilize?
Residents may come together for a number of reasons:
- To get something done about an immediate problem
- To problem-solve on issues and achieve future goals
- To gather resources for community needs
- To improve the quality of life in their community
What does a Community Watch look like?
Community Watch areas do not all look the same. Some Community Watches are defined geographically, while others may be defined on the basis of a common interest the members share.