What Is Neighborhood Watch?
How Does It Work?
The purpose of the Neighborhood Watch program is to create an alert neighborhood by using simple crime prevention methods. The program works through mutual aid—neighbors watching the property of other neighbors. This has several advantages, including the fact that the neighbors know who you are, what type of car you drive, and when you will be away. It does not promote vigilantism.
When Will Our Group Meet?
Neighborhood Watch meetings are conducted on weeknights at 6:30 p.m., as a rule. Select the most convenient day(s) for your group and then contact your division representative to schedule the meeting. Be sure to call four to six weeks in advance.
Group Meeting Programs
The typical first meeting of a Neighborhood Watch group will include discussion with a member of the Tucson Police Department on the topics of Neighborhood Watch, Home Security, and calling 9-1-1 vs. 791-4444.
Neighborhood Watch Leader
The following is provided to assist you in better understanding your role as a Neighborhood Watch leader.
- Maintain a list of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of your Neighborhood Watch members. We will provide you with a copy of the roster from your first meeting. We ask that you keep it updated.
- Make a plot map of your street with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of your group members. Provide copies for group members and send one to us.
- Using the sign application form, track the neighborhood’s progress toward completing steps to qualify for a Neighborhood Watch street sign.
- When a new neighbor moves in, contact them and explain the program. Provide them with Home Security and Operation Identification information.
- Contact your patrol division to schedule your second and followup meetings.
- As stated previously, you are required to have only one meeting per year with the Police Department. We do recommend, however, that your group remain active throughout the year with activities that benefit your neighborhood. There is nothing like a shared sense of community to help ensure the safety of your home and family.
- Hold block parties or potluck dinners.
- Encourage group participation in taking action to resolve neighborhood problems (e.g., speeding vehicles, lack of lighting) through the Police Department and other City departments.
- Plan activities to involve neighborhood youth in crime prevention, such as painting house numbers on curbs, alley and graffiti cleanup, taking care of yard work for elderly or disabled residents—a clean, tidy neighborhood discourages criminal activity.
- Organize a yard sale to make money to pay for neighborhood activities (e.g., paint, yard maintenance tools, electric engravers, party supplies).
The Neighborhood Watch leader is just that—a leader, and not the only one doing the work.Not surprisingly, Neighborhood Watch only works in those neighborhoods where the people are active. Groups that have more than half of the neighborhood involved and meet regularly have the most impact on crime. Active, effective groups learn that sharing information about what is happening in their area, getting to know one another, and helping each other are vital ingredients for making the Neighborhood Watch group dynamic. National studies have shown repeatedly that people who are involved in strong Neighborhood Watch groups have a significant impact on crime rates in their area.So, what kinds of things can you do to make your neighborhood a safer place?
Secure your home and property by installing deadbolts on all doors and auxiliary locks on
- Trim the plants in your yard so that your neighbors can see your home, and so that no one
can hide under or behind them.
- Make sure your house numbers are visible from the front and back of your home.
- Implement Operation Identification
- Light up your property at night—use 60-watt bulbs in front and back porch lights and carport areas. Another good idea is to use motion sensor lights.
- Make your house look like someone is at home. Don’t leave clues that you are gone, like newspapers in the driveway, mail piling up in your mailbox, or porch lights left on during the daytime.
- If you are going to be gone in the evening, consider leaving lights on a timer, as well as using a timer to turn your radio or television on and off
- Get active in your neighborhood. Share information about what is going on in your area.
Operation Identification is a citizen’s burglary prevention program for homes and businesses. Operation ID involves marking property with an identifying number as a means of discouraging burglary and theft. It also provides police with a way to identify property should it be stolen and recovered.
Visit the Tucson Police Department’s Website for more crime prevention information, the latest media releases, crime statistics, and more.