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 Programs and other crime prevention programs, c3ZhbmNlQGZjZ292LmNvbQ== us or call (970) 221-6833.
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.