Action Tips: Start a Neighborhood Watch

Suburb street

A neighborhood watch is a free and helpful way to reduce violence, bullying, and crime in an area.

Starting up

  • Go talk to your neighbors and local businesses to see who is interested.
  • If they say yes, collect phone numbers and emails.

Host a meeting

Discuss the expectations that everyone has at all times.

  • Provide the non-emergency number for police. Some communities you can dial 311, others you must directly call the station. In emergencies, dial 911.
  • Decide what things prompt participants to call the police or other neighbors. Write them down.
  • Set a date for the next meeting for updates.
  • Be sure to email everyone a summary of what happened at the meeting no more than 24 hours afterwards.

Contact the police

  • Call that non-emergency number and tell them about your neighborhood watch.
  • Invite a police officer to speak and offer advice at your next meeting.

Keep it going

  • Make sure you have those regular meetings.
  • Expand to include other services such as a housesitting program.