Starting a Neighborhood Watch Group
Although it can sometimes seem a little tricky, putting a group together can be quite easy. The police department has put together a step by step set of instructions to help you on your way.
- Read the 2014 Neighborhood Watch Guidebook. Contact the Englewood Sub-Station (1717 S. Appleton Avenue) or call (816) 325-7643 to receive one.
- Form a Group. Talk with some of your neighbors and discuss with them the benefits of forming a Neighborhood Watch. This might require going door to door to meet people who you do not know. Simply getting to know your neighbors is a big part of what Neighborhood Watch is all about.
- Hold a Meeting. At the meeting, discuss current crime problems in the neighborhood. Decide and vote on who will be the Block Captain. (Please Note that many any watches are organized differently. Some have only one Captain; others have numerous. Some large neighborhoods have Chairpersons with numerous Captains over individual watches.) Regardless of leadership titles, you need to get as many people as possible on the block to be Block Watchers. They are the eyes and ears of the group.
- Establish Boundaries. Figure out the precise perimeters of your neighborhood the group will cover. A watch block should not contain more than about 15 homes. Make a map. You can use various websites to print a map of your neighborhood. If you don’t have those capabilities, contact me and I’ll print one for you.
- Read through the Documents. Read the Flyers and the Guidebook. Obtain a printed copy of the Captain’s Book at the Englewood Sub-Station (1717 S. Appleton Avenue) or download it here. (The Captain’s book is a large document that contains a lot of information that can help you get started with your watch group)
- Go Down the Checklist. This is enclosed in the packet.
- Register Your Group. Complete the Enclosed worksheets and get them back to me. The only needed for a new group is the registration form in the Guidebook. Complete this and turn it in to the Englewood Sub-Station (1717 S. Appleton Avenue). There is also qualification form if you would like to attain the higher participation level statuses. Awards and signs are figured on a yearly basis. You will also find a sign in sheet to use at both meetings as well as block parties.
- Contact Me for hints and suggestions.
We will assist you in maintaining your watch group in the following areas:
- Discussing and attempting to help resolve any ongoing issues
- Providing you with crime trend updates in both the Neighborhood Watch Newsletter and at monthly block Captain’s meetings
- Meeting with you and/or your group to discuss neighborhood problems
I like to stress that a Neighborhood Watch sign is only an effective deterrent when there is an active watch group behind it. A watch sign placed in a neighborhood without such a group works just as well as a pen without ink. The Neighborhood Watch program views its signs as a reward for participating in the program. If you meet the criteria for the Bronze Level Watch Group, and complete the qualification form, you will receive a sign.
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Hopefully, this has helped answer many of your questions reference starting a neighborhood watch group. As always, if you have any questions, please contact Officer Syme at 325-7643, or e-mail him at email@example.com.