9 TIPS ON STARTING A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

March 7, 2018    Education

Use your eyes and ears and then your telephone.

 

There are so many tasks that we do outside of our scope of work because we have a passion to create the best neighborhood for our homeowners, and that includes sharing as much information as possible. Sue Evans, a Sr. Community Manager at Crummack Huseby, helped organize a Neighborhood Watch for a community and their surrounding communities.  Reflecting on an old Chinese proverb, we thought, “it really does take a village”. Here are some of our insights for you to kick-start a Neighborhood Watch in your community. (Thanks, Sue!)

 

WHAT IS THE ROLE FOR ANYONE WHO PARTICIPATES?

Being part of a neighborhood watch DOES NOT mean “taking things into your hands.” In essence, homeowners work together to be the eyes and ears for their local law enforcement.  Call 9-1-1 to let them know when you’ve witnessed a crime or a situation where others are in danger. Residents can work in cooperation with law enforcement to reduce crime in their communities.

 

IS IT MANDATORY TO WORK WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT?

Yes! Neighbors work together in a program of mutual assistance where law enforcement trains residents to recognize and report suspicious activities in their neighborhoods. Plus, law enforcement can keep communities aware of current crime trends. Working together really is the most effective way to help neighbors be aware and reduce crimes. Always have your local police department's phone number on hand. 

 

WHAT IS THE GOAL OF A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH?

By cooperating with each other and law enforcement, residents can help fight crime in their community the most effective way – before it begins.

 

DO WE HAVE TO CALL IT NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH?

We don’t see why you can’t find a different name that engages your community. We’ve also seen it called Home Alert, Citizen Crime Watch or Block Watch.

 

DO I NEED PERMISSION FROM MY HOA?

No, neighborhood watches are not done through the association. They are formed by voluntary participation.

 

HOW MANY PEOPLE NEED TO PARTICIPATE?

Since it’s voluntary participation, the goal is to get as many homeowners involved at any time. You’d be surprised how many people come together for a common goal: keeping the community safe.

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

You meet new neighbors, develop a stronger bond in your community, and open communication to let each other know what is happening outside your front door. Sue witnessed how neighbors have genuine concern for one another,  “Neighbor to neighbor, community to community and surrounding schools, everyone realize how lucky they are to be able to help each other.”

 

HOW CAN YOU START A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH?

Call your local police or sheriff’s department. Many times local police departments offer a one-time training where they present local crime reports and educate homeowners on how the neighborhood can work together to increase safety and prevent crime.

Sue took initiative to set up the first meeting with the Orange Police Department and the residents of Serreno Heights. She also recommends contacting community managers of other nearby associations to engage surrounding neighborhoods to attend that first informational meeting. It should be an open invitation, the more the better.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST FORM OF SHARING INFORMATION WITH OUR WATCH?

If you see a crime, always call the police first!  For sharing non-crime but safety related information, you can set up a private FB Message Board, form a text tree, or use the NextDoor app.

 

Note: Neighborhood Watch is not a Homeowner Association sponsored program. 

 


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Crummack Huseby utilizes a personal approach to create and develop one-of-a-kind property management programs for new and existing communities. Our award-winning talent would be honored to present their unparalleled methods in property management and builder services to your team or board. For more information, please visit ch-pm.com or call 888-399-9430 Toll-free.  

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