Neighborhood Watch Programs#
Fort Collins Neighborhood Watch program is a successful way to reduce crime and make your neighborhood a better place to live. If you don't already have an active neighborhood watch program, consider organizing one. For information on Neighborhood Watch and other crime prevention programs, please contact the Neighborhood Engagement Team at NET@fcgov.com
The ABC's of Neighborhood Watch
- Any community resident can join -- young and old, single and married, renter and homeowner.
- A few concerned residents, a community organization, or a law enforcement agency can spearhead the effort to organize a neighborhood watch program.
- Members learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and call the police department to report activities that appear suspicious.
- You can form a neighborhood watch group around any geographical unit: a block, apartment, park, business area, housing complex, office.
- Neighborhood watch groups are not vigilantes. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors. Neighborhood watch programs help build pride and serve as a springboard for efforts that address community concerns such as recreation for youth, child care, and affordable housing.
When a group decides to form a neighborhood watch, it:
- Contacts the police department for help in training members in home security and reporting skills and for information on local crime patterns.
- Selects a coordinator or block captain(s) who is (are) responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to members.
- Recruits members, keeping up-to-date on new residents and making special efforts to involve the elderly, working parents, and young people.
- Works with law enforcement to put up neighborhood watch signs.
Neighbors Look For . . .
- Someone who appears to be in distress or who is screaming or shouting for help.
- Someone looking into windows and parked cars.
- Unusual noises.
- Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or from closed businesses.
- Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination, or without lights.
- Abandoned cars.
Report these incidents to the police department. Talk about the problem with your neighbors.
How to Report (Call 911 if it's an emergency, otherwise call 221-6540)
- Give your name and address.
- Briefly describe the event -- what happened, when, where, and who was involved.
- Describe the suspect: sex and race, age, height, weight, hair color, clothing, distinctive characteristics such as beard, mustache, scars, or accent.
- Describe the vehicle if one was involved: color, make, model, year, license plate, and special features such as stickers, dents, or decals.
It's an unfortunate fact that when a neighborhood crime crisis goes away, so does enthusiasm for neighborhood watch programs. Work to keep your neighborhood watch group a vital force for community well-being.
- Organize regular meetings that focus on current issues.
- Organize community patrols to walk around streets or apartment complexes and alert police to crime and suspicious activities and identify problems needing attention.
- Publish a newsletter that gives prevention tips and local crime news, recognizes residents of all ages who have "made a difference", and highlights community events.
- Don't forget social events that give neighbors a chance to know each other -- a block party, potluck dinner, volleyball or softball game, or picnic.