The Neighborhood Watch program is a highly successful effort that has been in existence for more than thirty years in cities and counties across America. It provides a unique infrastructure that brings together local officials, law enforcement and citizens to protect our communities. Around the country, neighbors for three decades have banded together to create Neighborhood Watch programs. They understand that the active participation of neighborhood residents is a critical element in community safety - not through vigilantism, but simply through a willingness to look out for suspicious activity in their neighborhood, and report that activity to law enforcement and to each other. In doing so, residents take a major step toward reclaiming high-crime neighborhoods, as well as making people throughout a community feel more secure and less fearful.
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the need for strengthening and securing our communities has become even more critical, and Neighborhood Watch groups have taken on greater significance. In addition to serving a crime prevention role, Neighborhood Watch can also be used as the basis for bringing neighborhood residents together to focus on disaster preparedness as well as terrorism awareness; to focus on evacuation drills and exercises; and even to organize group training, such as the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.
Many neighborhoods already have established Neighborhood Watch programs that are vibrant and effective. For those that do not, Citizen Corps and the renewed emphasis on citizen preparedness may provide the incentive for them to participate in this important community-based effort on behalf of their friends and neighbors. And when you help your neighbors, you help the nation.
For additional information and publications regarding the Neighborhood Watch program, please refer to the links below:
USAonWatch.org: Neighborhood Watch Program
Volunteer Today: Local Neighborhood Watch Contact Information