Q:

How do you start a neighborhood watch?

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Quick Answer

To start a neighborhood watch, recruit local members, work with law enforcement, create an action plan and hold regular meetings, suggests National Neighborhood Watch. Training members to effectively run the neighborhood watch program is also key to the program's success.

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Full Answer

Getting support from neighbors is the first step in creating your own neighborhood watch. You can work with existing organizations such as a community development office or tenants' associations to reach neighbors, notes the National Crime Prevention Council. Going door-to-door also helps recruit members. If the neighborhood includes a diverse population, have information sheets translated to other languages to include all community members.

Partnering with local law enforcement gives your neighborhood watch a resource for training and information, states the National Crime Prevention Council. The group also gains credibility from the partnership. A local victims' services organization is another resource for training to help members learn how to help victims.

Identify the specific problems in your neighborhood to create a focus for the group. Residents likely have concerns regarding things they have observed in the neighborhood. Develop a plan to address the top three concerns, suggests National Neighborhood Watch. Your initial meeting should also address how you plan to communicate information to the neighborhood. Regular meetings work well, but social media is also an option for staying connected as a group.

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