One of the greatest things about living in a community where you know your neighbors is that you can all watch out for one another. Most neighbors will do this naturally, but it never hurts to formalize the system a bit better. This not only means that you may make some new friends out of neighbors, but also that your home and property will be better protected. If you are interested in setting up a neighborhood watch, we have some suggestions for you.
1) Firstly, you need to get to know your neighbors. Start by introducing yourself via a note in their mailbox or with a block party on a weekend. Putting a human face to a home on a block will make your neighbors more interested in participating and will increase the security of your home even without a formal watch
2) This is also a good time to bring up the idea of a neighborhood watch program and see what the level of interest is. If you have lots of interest think about scheduling a meeting to talk about the particulars. A neighborhood watch should be made up of individuals who WANT to help, it’s no use forcing your neighbors to participate if they are not keen.
3) Once you have a group of interested in people, think about what you want to accomplish with your neighborhood watch. Do you want to set up teams to patrol the neighborhood? Do you want to educate neighbors on things they can do to make the neighborhood more safe and secure? Do you want to bring in policemen and firemen to educate neighborhoods on government or city protocols? Do you want to let people who when a crime has occurred in the neighborhood?
4) Come up with a committee structure with a leader who is responsible for organizing groups of people, holding people accountable to what they’ve promised to accomplish, organizing meetings, and keeping the watch in order.
If you live in Seattle, the Seattle PD has some great information on setting up a neighborhood watch that you will want to check out before starting your own.