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Neighborhood Watch Program
Community Liaison & Neigborhood Watch Coordinator, Teresa Aquila
Taquila@washoecounty.gov / (775) 240-2308
The purpose of the NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH program is to:
Make you aware of the steps you and your neighbors can take to make your home more secure against crime,
To show you how you and your neighbors can help each other protect your entire neighborhood, and
Make local law enforcement agencies more effective in the fight against crime through YOUR involvement and participation.
Benefits of neighborhood watch:
- Deters criminal activity;
- Creates a greater sense of security and reduces fear of crime;
- Builds bonds with neighbors; people look out for one another;
- It stimulates neighborhood awareness;
- Reduces the risk of becoming a crime victim; it reduces the physical, financial, and psychological costs of crime;
- Instructs residents on how to observe and report suspicious activities in your community;
- Addresses quality of life issues and mutual interests in your community.
Starting a Neighborhood Watch Group
You've heard about the benefits of NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH participation. You suspect or know that there is a crime problem in your area. How do you get a program started in your neighborhood?
Form a small planning committee of neighbors to discuss needs, the level of interest, and possible problems. Decide on a date and place for an initial NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH meeting.
Contact your local law enforcement agency. Request that a crime prevention officer come to a meeting of your group in the near future to discuss NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH and help assess your community's problems and needs. Inquire about crime statistics for your area, but bear in mind that crime is typically under-reported. Ask that the officer bring to your meeting a list of local and national contacts that will assist you in organizing and keeping your program going along with samples of NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH signs, decals, and literature.
Contact as many of your neighbors as possible, asking them:
- If they feel at risk of being burglarized or being the victim of other crimes;
- If they have taken any steps to protect their homes; and
- If they would be willing to attend a meeting to organize a NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH group in your area.
You may be surprised to learn how many of your neighbors' lives have already been touched by crime!
The above is just a brief overview of how to start a NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUP.