Neighborhood Watch forges bonds among area residents. It helps reduce neighborhood crimes and creates a partnership between law enforcement and the community. Neighborhood Watch fights the isolation that crime both creates and feeds upon. Neighbors working together in cooperation with law enforcement makes the best crime fighting team around!
Neighborhood Watch groups are not vigilantes. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors. Neighborhood Watch builds pride and serves as a springboard for efforts that address community needs. Citizen involvement is essential to combat this social crisis.
Starting a Neighborhood Watch
Any community resident can join a Neighborhood Watch; young or old, single or married, renter or homeowner. Members can learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report suspicious activities to the Police Department. You can form a Neighborhood Watch group for any area: a street, mobile home park, apartment complex, marina, community recreation center, or park.
Start a Neighborhood Watch with these steps:
- Contact the Police Department for assistance in training residents in home security and reporting crime.
- Select a block captain who will be responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to group members.
- If you are interested in becoming a block captain, call the Police Department's Community Division Unit at 650-991-8106 for additional information.
- Encourage participation and commitment among residents and neighbors. Make a special effort to involve the elderly.
Suspicious Activities to Look For
- Abandoned vehicles, suspicious people, unusual noises
- Property being taken out of closed businesses or houses where no one is at home
- Someone looking into windows or parked cars
- Someone screaming or shouting for help, or being forced into a vehicle
- Someone spraying graffiti on buildings
- Strangers sitting in a car, stopping to talk to kids
- A sudden change in a neighbor's routine: newspapers piling up; drapes drawn; mailbox overflowing with mail, etc.
- Vehicles cruising aimlessly
Enhance Your Community Well-Being
- Adopt a school or playground; start a block parent program
- Encourage the use of deadbolt locks, smoke alarms and other safety devices in homes and commercial buildings
- Form a disaster preparedness program for your neighborhood
- Organize regular meetings to discuss current issues such as:
- Childcare for school age kids
- Drug abuse
- Gang activity
- Hate crimes
- Recreational activities for young people