When it comes to protecting your home, it’s important to utilize every available resource. After all, this is your safe space that we’re talking about. This is where you sleep at night, where you relax with friends and family, where you grow and make memories. More likely than not, that place is also full of valuables that you’d hate to see stolen. Home security systems are a great measure to protect your home, but there might be resources right under your nose that you could utilize more fully. How about the country’s Neighborhood Watch program? Here’s what you need to know:
About Neighborhood Watch
Systems similar to Neighborhood Watch have been around for centuries. In Colonial times, for example, a member of the nighttime watch was assigned to patrol the streets. The modern version of the Neighborhood Watch program that emerged in the 1960s was born out of the desire of multiple sheriffs and police chiefs to engage in community involvement and address the rise in burglaries.
Initially, the program was used to simply relay information to local police departments about burglaries so they could take better prevention measures. Over time, community members became a more integral and proactive part of the Watch program, often engaging in activities like community cleanups to maintain and care for their neighborhoods.
According to the journalist Andria Krewson, Neighborhood Watch members usually consist of elderly people who have lived in a neighborhood for a long time and know who does and doesn’t belong. These members will call local police when they notice activity that seems suspicious or out of place. They’ll also put pressure on local government leaders to make certain neighborhoods safer, such as providing more police protection or streetlights.
How can I use it?
To find your local Neighborhood Watch program, follow this link.
From that link, you can type in your city name or ZIP code and find your local Neighborhood Watch program. From there, you’ll be provided with the email address, phone number, and/or website of whoever is in charge of your closest neighborhood watch program.
Granted, not everywhere has a Neighborhood Watch program, but if you live in a state capital city or any other major city, you probably have one. If you want to start your own Neighborhood Watch program, there is a list of five easy steps to follow located on the NNW website:
1. Recruit and organize as many neighbors as you can — Talk to your neighbors. Ask them how they would feel about participating in a neighborhood watch program.
2. Contact your local law enforcement agency to schedule a meeting — The whole point of a neighborhood watch group is a collaboration with local law enforcement. Contact your nearest agency and plan a time and place where you can meet and discuss the needs of the neighborhood.
3. Discuss community concerns and develop an action plan — Identify the top three safety concerns in your neighborhood, and make a plan with other Watch members to address them.
4. Create a communication plan — Plan how you’ll communicate with other Neighborhood Watch members, whether it’s over the phone, social media, etc.
5. Hold meetings and events — Plan events and meetings to continually improve your neighborhood. This could be things such as cleanup events as mentioned before.
If you want to become a National Neighborhood Watch Member, click here.
Other home safety measures
The Neighborhood Watch program is a great way to get involved in your community and increase the security of your neighborhood, but don’t forget other measures you can take to immediately improve your home security.
- Purchase a home security system
- Get solar lights for your driveway and walkway
- Keep bushes and trees trimmed to make them difficult to hide behind
- Keep a couple of lights or the TV on when you leave the house
- Get deadbolts for your doors and make sure your house is always locked
Interested in monitored home security? Get a free quote from Protect America.