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.