West Covina Police Department
National Neighborhood Watch
The Neighborhood Watch program was instituted nationally in 1972. Since 1972, the National Neighborhood Watch Program (housed within the National Sheriffs’ Association) has worked to unite law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens in a nationwide effort to reduce crime and improve local communities. The success of the program has established Neighborhood Watch as the nation’s premier crime prevention and community mobilization program. Visible signs of the program are seen throughout America on street signs, window decals, community block parties, and service projects.
For residents who are interested in forming a Neighborhood Watch group, it is first suggested they read the Neighborhood Watch Manual to get a deeper understanding. Once a group has been formed, the lead contact or group captain can contact the Police Department for additional guidance. The lead contact or group captain can contact the Department’s Neighborhood Watch Liasion or representative Service Area Lieutenant to coordinate participation at the first Neighborhood Watch meeting.
The group captain is asked to provide at least three available days to host the first meeting. In the time before the meeting date, the group captain should work within their group to select members to be responsible for note taking, coordinating meeting locations to include ample seating, development, and distribution of meeting flyers, and possibly someone to create and maintain a social media presence for their group. The group can also decide what type of refreshments, if any, will be served and who will be responsible for providing them for the meeting.
It is the position of the Police Department to empower each group, not to take control of a group. Our presence and function at your meeting are to answer questions and provide information, such as how to access crime statistics for your group using our Community Crime Map.
The frequency of Neighborhood Watch meetings is at the discretion of the group. It is recommended and encouraged that each group hosts a minimum of two meetings a year. The more frequently meetings are held, the stronger the group bond becomes. This is the foundation for developing and sharing ideas as to how to better monitor your community, including planning for crime prevention events, such as National Night Out.