How Does a Block Watch Work

Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, Town Watch, Crime Watch - no matter what it’s called this is one of the most effective and free answers to crime prevention. Watch groups are the foundation of community crime prevention and are often the stepping stones of community revitalization. Law enforcement believes in “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” and work with groups to facilitate Block Watch programs.

Commitments

Block Watch requires two basic commitments:

  • A commitment to be concerned about your neighborhood.
  • A commitment that when you see suspicious activity, you will take action by alerting your neighbors and by calling 9-1-1. If you see something, say something.

About the Program

Block Watch really just organizes and extends what you are probably already doing on an informal basis. We tend to know and watch out for our closest neighbors, but a group of neighbors at one end of the block who are doing this may not know the group of neighbors at the other end of the block. Organizing a Block Watch makes this attitude of watchfulness more systematic, and provides a block map or contact list with neighbors' names, telephone numbers and emails that can be used in case of an emergency.

Calling the Police

Police will always tell you to call 911 when you see something suspicious. But, how do you know what’s suspicious in your neighborhood? First, you have to know what’s normal for your neighborhood. How do you know what’s normal? You get out from behind your doors and you talk to each other. It’s your neighborhood, your community. You know (or should know) what is normal for your neighborhood and what is out of place. The more you interact with each other, the more you are observant and engaged, the better able you are to identify those things that are unusual, out of place and suspicious- the things we ask you to tell police by calling 911.