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
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.
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
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
Someone screaming or
shouting for help
Someone looking into
windows and parked cars
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
A stranger sitting in a car
or stopping to talk to a child
Report these incidents to the police calling 911. Talk about the problem with your neighbors.
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.
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
Work with local building
code officials to require dead bolt locks, smoke alarms, and other
safety devices in new and existing homes and commercial
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
Publish a newsletter that
gives prevention tips and local crime news, recognizes residents of all
ages who have “made a difference,” and highlights
Don’t forget social
events that give neighbors a chance to know each other - a block party, potluck
dinner, volleyball, softball game or picnic.