Organizing a Neighborhood Watch

by Debra Wyatt
(last updated May 14, 2020)

A neighborhood watch group can be organized by any member of a community, and any member of the neighborhood can join. A neighborhood watch is a very effective program that helps to keep communities safe. Members of the watch aren't vigilantes. It is best to partner up with the local law enforcement agency in your area. This helps to keep everyone safe.

Organizing the watch isn't difficult, but it will take some time. After it is done it is well worth the time and effort that it took to get it started. Since you are the one that is heading up this neighborhood watch there are certain things that you will need.

Items needed:

  • Neighborhood map
  • Neighborhood Watch signs
  • Fliers
  • Meeting place
  • Sign up sheet
  • Agenda

Hold a committee meeting to help organize the neighborhood watch. Divide up the responsibilities with the different members so that every one has something to do and that no person is overwhelmed with their duties. You will want to stay organized, as this will help to build a successful group.

Use the map to map out the neighborhood, and have the addresses and contact information of those who are going to participate. Involve more than just the neighbors in the neighborhood; try to get the community leaders, local churches, and the businesses in the area get involved. They can speak at meetings and may be willing to donate some of their services, like helping to provide funds for fliers, posters, and refreshments for the meeting.

Contact the local law enforcement agency in your area and secure a Crime Prevention Officer to speak at the meeting. This officer will become your contact with the local law enforcement. He will be at most if not all of your neighborhood watch meetings. The officer will be the source for helping to educate those on the neighborhood watch.

What are some of the issues that are important in your community? Have someone compile data regarding the crime along with statistics for your neighborhood. This information can be obtained from the local law enforcement agency.

An agenda is needed for the neighborhood watch meeting. The purpose of the first meeting is to update everyone on the general purpose of the neighborhood watch, along with goals and some strategies. This is the introduction of the program in your neighborhood and the foundation for all meetings to follow.

The meeting needs to be publicized. You may need several people to help with publicity. You will want to be sure to let everyone know about this meeting. There are several ways that this event can be publicized. The easiest way is to have fliers made up and have someone deliver them door-to-door. You could also e-mail whose e-mail addresses you know.

At the first meeting have a sign-up sheet for those who are interested to pledge their involvement. These will be the people that you will want to have key positions in the group. This is also the time to establish when all other meetings will be held. Try to set the meetings up on a regular monthly date.

Purchase signs for the Neighborhood Watch signs. There are some areas that require that there be a minimum number. Members of the watch group will help find places to place the signs.

Have a schedule already planned for regular meetings to be held. Don't forget to involve the shut-ins or elderly neighbors. They are great for keeping tabs on neighborhood activities.

Author Bio

Debra Wyatt

Deb has a communications degree and applies her talents to her position as Marketing Specialist at Sharon Parq Associates. In her spare time she spends time with her children and grandchildren and devotes time to her church. ...


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