Neighborhood Watch

1. Overview

Neighborhood Watch started out as simply a program of neighbors watching other neighbor's property during times when the occupant is away. A police officer patrolling your community may not recognize a stranger in your yard - but your neighbors would!

Over 40 million crimes are committed every year. There can't be a law enforcement officer on every corner, so citizen involvement is essential to combat this social crisis. By cooperating with each other and the police, people can help fight crime in their community the most effective way - before it begins.

2. Suspicious Activity / Person

If you see something suspicious

  • Write down the description of any suspicious persons.

  • Get the make, model, color, and license number of strange vehicles.

  • Call the police and the owner of the property immediately.

3.  Looking for suspicious activity

As a member of a Neighborhood Watch, it will be your responsibility to call the police about all suspicious activity in your neighborhood. You and your fellow members should report any unusual situations, such as:

  • A stranger entering a neighbor's home or apartment that appears to be unoccupied.
  • Anyone looking into parked cars, or removing parts, gasoline, or license plates from a car.
  • Anyone entering or leaving a place of business after hours, or loitering outside.
  • Breaking glass, gunshots, screams or abnormally barking dogs.
  • Anyone loitering around the neighborhood, schools, or parks.
  • Anyone going door-to-door who tries to open a door, or goes into a backyard.
  • Anyone carrying unwrapped property at any unusual time, or running while carrying property.
  • Any vehicle cruising slowly back and forth on your street.
  • Any abandoned vehicle on your street.
  • Windows or doors recently broken at a home or business. Anyone sitting in a parked car, especially at an unusual hour.

4. Forming a neighborhood watch group

For information and free materials on how to organize a Neighborhood Watch program or for information on an existing watch area, contact the community policing unit at 816.348.4497

A word of Caution!

A Neighborhood Watch does not mean prying or nosy neighbors who try to stop criminals all by themselves. As a member, your responsibility is to call the police and report what you've seen -- not to take action yourself.

Remember, neighborhoods are made up of people who have the power to protect each others safety. By reporting any suspicious circumstances to law enforcement agencies, members of a Neighborhood Watch actually increase their own safety.

Police cannot fight crime they do not know about. When alert citizens keep them informed, the police are far more effective against crime -- and citizens have better protection and safer neighborhoods.

Join your neighbors to organize a NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH program in your community. You'll be protecting your own home and you own safety.

5. What the police need when you call

When You Call (911 or 331.1500). The call taker will ask questions to answer the following.

  • What happened? Where? When? How? Who did it?
  • If a vehicle was involved, what was its license plate? Color? Make? Model? Year? Which way did it go when it left?
  • How many people were in the vehicle? Were they armed? What was their sex? Race? Age? Height? Weight? Hair color. clothing
  • Any unusual characteristics? Did they say anything?


6. Protecting yourself

  • Good lighting (use timers - preferably with multi-settings)
  • Good lock security
  • Secure all doors and windows when house is unoccupied
  • Let a trusted neighbor know when you are on vacation
  • Stay alert of your surroundings at all times
  • Make the effort to get to know your neighbors