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Police Urge Residents to Start Neighborhood Watch Groups

Newark Police Department's Neighborhood Watch program is growing, but police ask that more neighborhoods take part in the crime prevention program.

By Newark Police

Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program made up of volunteers. The program is organized and operated by a group of people living in the same area who want to make their neighborhood safer by working together, with the assistance and resources of the police department.

The program provides opportunities to work toward increasing safety, improving the quality of life of local communities, and reducing crime rates. 

The police department partners with residents to educate them regarding how and why crime happens, how to improve both home and personal safety, and to determine how and when to contact law enforcement.

Residents who are interested can schedule a Neighborhood Watch meeting where a Police representative will come to discuss things such as: crime in your city and specific area, how and why the program works, and what other neighborhoods are doing. 

To participate in a Neighborhood Watch program, schedule an initial meeting of neighbors that a Police representative will attend.

At that meeting, create a roster of members’ contact information and a neighborhood map, then select a Block Captain and an Alternate to be the liaisons between the group and the police department. Decide how many signs the group wants and where they should be installed.

To keep a group active, it must meet at least once a year, distribute Crime Alert Bulletins when provided by the police department, and maintain a current map and member roster. 

The Neighborhood Watch program empowers citizens and teaches them how to help themselves by identifying and reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.

The program draws upon the compassion of average citizens, asking them to lend their neighbors a hand. Not only does Neighborhood Watch allow citizens to help in the fight against crime, it is also an opportunity for communities to bond through service. 

There are many benefits to a neighborhood watch program. Start the dialogue with your neighbors and see if you can start one in your neighborhood. It is a great way to build community, cut down on crime and rethink what a "neighborhood" is all about! 

To get more information about starting up a program in your area, contact: 

Tim Jones 
Special Assistant 
Community Engagement Division 
Newark Police Dept. 
(510) 578-4209 
tim.jones@newark.org

Mona Taplin September 21, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I do strongly disagree with one point though. Meeting just once a year is not enough to keep interest high in crime prevention.
Spide4x4 September 23, 2012 at 11:12 AM
If you are a responsible, tax paying homeowner, "like most still are" you read and hear about the crimes in your town and get a little frustrated. I wonder if criminals think twice, when they see that posted Neighborhood Watch sign on the street? Maybe? Maybe not? Here's a solution, put a sign up on every 2 or 3 blocks each year over several years and maybe the signs encourages neighborhood watch.
Daniel September 23, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Neighborhood watch is useless. A few weeks ago I reported suspicious activity across the street from my house. The police ignored it.
Albert Rubio September 24, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Police protection could be thought of as a consumer good like all other services. I know that this is a foreign idea for most people but aside from the fact that today one can purchase security already, here is an article demonstrating a direction things could go in if security were part of the voluntary market instead of a city monopoly. "Residents hiring their own 'subscription' police in response to decreased IMPD presence Chris Manolis tired of paying a $75 fee every time his security system sounded a false alarm but he felt he had no choice. So Manolis found a third way; he got rid of the alarm and began paying $150 annual dues for security patrols by a company owned and staffed by Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers. In joining the King Park Public Safety Cooperative, Manolis was putting his money toward a pumped-up version of the lone moonlighting cop who sits in a car at an apartment complex. The dozen off-duty officers for Safe Neighborhoods make arrests, respond to 911 calls, question loiterers and chase trouble-makers. They drive their take-home patrol cars, wear their blue uniforms, carry their department issued guns and keep in touch with their on-duty counterparts through their police radios. http://www.indystar.com/article/20120916/NEWS02/209160360/Residents-hiring-their-own-subscription-police-response-decreased-IMPD-presence?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Cimg%7CIndyStar.com&nclick_check=1
Nick September 24, 2012 at 06:09 PM
If this was at another home, you go inform the neighbor of what you saw. Also inform the block captain. Block captain may have a direct communication line with the police who will send an extra patrol around. Best thing you can do is take notes, license plates, descriptions of what you saw. The neighborhood watch is a preventative tool. It's mainly to prevent crimes from happening.

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