Neighbors who look out for each other are making a difference!

You can make a difference in your neighborhood!

For more information on how you can form a neighborhood watch group in your area call:  (716) 629-8609


The ABC’s of Neighborhood Watch

Getting Organized

What Neighborhood Members Look For

How to Report

KeepingYour Neighborhood Group Active


The ABC’s of Neighborhood Watch

You can form a Watch group around any geographical unit, village, one or several blocks, an apartment, park, business area, housing complex, office or marina. A few concerned residents, a community organization or law enforcement agency can spearhead the effort to organize a Neighborhood Watch group. Any community resident from that geographical unit can join - young or old, single or married, renter or homeowner.

Members learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and their neighborhood, and report activities that raise their suspicions to the police. Watch groups are not vigilantes. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors. Neighborhood Watch helps build pride and serves as a springboard to bring a neighborhood together in a common effort to make the neighborhood a safer one. 



Getting Organized

When a group decides to form a Neighborhood Watch, It:

*   Contacts their local police departments Crime Prevention Unit, or the CPA WNY for help in training members in home security and reporting skills or information on local crime patterns

*   Selects a coordinator and/or block captain(s) who are responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to members.

*   Recruits members, keeps up-to-date on new residents and makes special efforts to involve the elderly, working parents, and young people.

*   Works with local governments and law enforcement to put up Neighborhood Watch signs, usually after at least 50 percent of all households in the neighborhood are enrolled.



What Neighborhood Watch Members Look For

*   Someone screaming or shouting for help

*   Someone looking into windows and parked cars

*   Unusual noises

*   Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or when a business is closed

*   Cars, vans or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination, or without lights

*   Anyone being forced into a vehicle

*   A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child

*   Abandoned cars

Report these incidents to the police calling 911. Talk about the problem with your neighbors.



How to Report

*   Call 911

*   Give your name and address

*   Briefly describe the event - what happened, when, where, and who was involved.

*   Describe the suspect: sex and race, age, height, weight, hair color, clothing, distinctive characteristics such as beard, mustache, scars, tattoos or accent.

*   Describe the vehicle if one was involved: color, make, model, year, license plate, and special features such as stickers, dents or decals.



Keeping your Neighborhood Watch Group Active

It’s an unfortunate fact that when a neighborhood crime crisis goes away, so does enthusiasm for Neighborhood Watch. Work to keep your Watch group a vital force for community well being and to prevent crime from entering your neighborhood.

*   Organize regular meetings that focus on current issues such as drug abuse, “hate” or bias-motivated violence, crime in schools, child care before and after school, recreational activities for young people, and victims services. The CPA WNY, Inc. offers a wide variety of professionals who can speak on these topics.

*   Organize community patrols to walk around streets or apartment complexes and alert police to crime and suspicious activities and identify problems needing attention.  People with cellular phones or CB radios can patrol.

*   Adopt a park or school playground.  Pick up litter, repair broken equipment, paint over graffiti.

*   Work with local building code officials to require dead bolt locks, smoke alarms, and other safety   devices in new and existing homes and commercial buildings.

*   Work with parent groups and schools to start a McGruff House or other block parent program    (to help children in emergency situations).  A McGruff House is a reliable source of help for children in emergency or frightening situations.  For more information on McGruff House, call 801-486-8691.

*   Publish a newsletter that gives prevention tips and local crime news, recognizes residents of all ages who have “made a difference,” and highlights community events.

*   Don’t forget social events that give neighbors a chance to know each other - a block party, potluck dinner, volleyball, softball game or picnic.