|New Group Checklist for Neighborhoods
Starting a Neighborhood Watch Program
You Will Need
- A person or group of people committed to starting a Neighborhood Watch.
- A planning group to initiate the program.
- A list of what issues initially need to be addressed in your community.
- A means of communicating with the residents, e.g., e-mail, fliers, telephone trees.
- Publicity for the initial Neighborhood Watch meeting. (Need help?)
- A meeting agenda to keep things moving and on track.
- A place to meet-resident's house or apartment, community center, school, library.
- A crime prevention officer to discuss the crime issues in the neighborhood and to help train members. (Need help?)
- A map of the community with spaces for names, addresses, and phone numbers of all households. (Need help?)
- Brochures or other materials on topics of interest to the residents.
- A sign-up sheet for those interested in becoming block or building captains.
- Neighborhood Watch signs to be posted around the community. (Need help?)
- Facts about crime in your neighborhood. (Need help?)
To Add Excitement
- Mix business with pleasure; allow attendees time to socialize.
- Seek out neighborhood go-getters, civic leaders, and elected officials to be your advocates and mentors.
- Work with existing organizations such as citizens' associations, tenants' associations, or housing authorities.
- Provide speakers on topics of community interest.
- Link crime prevention into activities promoted by other groups: child protection, anti-vandalism projects, community service, arson prevention, recreation activities for young people.
- Start a neighborhood newsletter. (Need help?)
- Arrange for McGruff to make a surprise appearance at a meeting, rally, or other event.
To Build Partnerships
- The police or sheriffs' office's endorsement is critical to a Watch group's credibility. These agencies are the major sources of information on local crime patterns, crime prevention education, and crime reporting.
- Local businesses and organizations can help provide fliers and a newsletter, offer meeting places, and distribute crime prevention information. Ask an electronics store to donate cellular phones.
- Libraries can provide research materials, videos, computers, and meeting space.
- Media can aid Neighborhood Watches by publicizing recruitment drives.
- Look to volunteer centers, parent groups, and labor unions for advice on recruiting volunteers.
- Teenagers are valuable resources. They can be an integral part of a citizens' patrol including biking and rollerblading to scout the neighborhood.
- Places of worship can provide meeting space and a good source of volunteers.
When you have completed these steps you may register your group with the Neighborhood Services Division online, by visiting our office at on the fourth floor of City Hall, 414 E. 12th St., west side, or by calling us at (816) 513-3200 (816) 513-3200 . You may also e-mail us at Solutions_NCSD@kcmo.org if you have any questions.
You may also want to register your group with the USAonWatch.org national database, to help meet the president's goal of doubling the number of neighborhood watch groups in the country.
Many of these Crime Prevention Tips were
provided by the National Crime Prevention Council