Marlboro Township Neighborhood Watch P.O. Bernadette Peter
Why Have a Neighborhood Watch? Crime exists in every community. The police can not be everywhere, and you know your neighborhood better than anyone. Most of the people in your community will be thankful, appreciative and discover a new sense of safety and ease.
Setting Up a Neighborhood Watch See if there is interest in a Watch program in your community. A successful Watch program requires cooperation from all of a neighborhood’s members. If you have a Home Owners Association, bring your idea to them, along with a good representation of the people who want to be involved.
Setting Up a Neighborhood Watch Once you have determined that a Watch program is right for you, contact your local Police Department. They will help you organize, train and implement your Watch program.
Setting Up a Neighborhood Watch The initial set-up and organization of the Watch program includes several factors. Picking your team/block leaders. Dividing the neighborhood into manageable sections. Getting volunteers for patrol.
You need to determine your meeting space, it should be at a convenient location for all members, and be able to accommodate everyone comfortably. Make sure that the room is conducive to the business you are there to conduct. Keep distractions to a minimum (There is time to catch up and talk later!)
Implementing Your Watch You need to manage and keep control of your meeting. You should have a well planned and thought out list of objectives for the meeting. Concentrate on those items, letting new ideas be discussed at the end. You can then research those ideas for the next meeting.
Implementing Your Watch Make a meeting check list. Be sure to have enough materials for everyone. i.e. handouts, name tags and don’t forget refreshments! Make use of the technology available to you. Use your computer to more accurately divide the neighborhood in a way that is clear for everyone.
The Four C’s Their are four C’s that help ensure the success of your Watch. Communication----Share thoughts, ideas, information and feelings. Coordination----Keep each other informed of situations and times. Cooperation----Everyone should help each other with tasks or objectives. Collaboration----Based on sharing power.
Teamwork At certain times and in certain situations, conflicts might arise in the group. This is normal once members become more comfortable with each other. People feel more at ease to voice their opinions and agendas. Remind all members to respect the feelings of others!
Teamwork It is important to encourage consistency, while providing opportunities for members to learn. Reward your volunteers who show persistence and dedication.
A Phone Tree is mostly all those involved with the Neighborhood Watch Program. You will want to have Your Police Department contact number on there and the Fire and Emergency numbers as well as the Hospital Emergency numbers.
Safe House Include on the Phone List SAFE HOUSES names and numbers and addresses. A SAFE HOUSE is someone's house that children and Adults can go to in case of an emergency. (Used to have a red hand) If for some reason children are home early and parent's cannot be notified or some other emergency then they can go to that house. It is this purpose also that the children have some place to go to until the parent's are notified and some arrangements are made. (Ex. Fire)
Information Gathering There is lots of information to be gathered to make your neighborhood safe and secure. Make a database of this, put it on your computer and on everyone’s who is involved in the Neighborhood Watch Program, or make copies accessible.
Information Gathering The list should include these things and pictures: House or Lot Number and Address (if it is being Rented out you will want the renters information. Get them involved! Most renter's don't think that they need to go by the rules of the neighborhood because they are renting the house. This is so NOT True. They live there they need to accept responsibility and follow the rules for the neighborhood.
Information Gathering Name of Head of Household Family Members -names, ages and birth dates. Pictures would be a great asset for this. Car make, model, and registration numbers. Again pictures would work best with this. Any pets the family may have, names and pictures. Any other pertinent information such as people who come in the neighborhood daily or on a regular basis. (visitors)
Information Gathering These things are not to be used for personal reasons. They are to be used if there is a strange car in someone's driveway the Team Leader or Block person can call the police to come out and check it out.
Development’s or communities with private security are at an advantage for Watch programs. While in the initial planning for your Watch Program, discuss your ideas with security. Ask them for their input. See what areas in your neighborhood have the most problems, or areas where they just need help.
Development's with Security Other advantage’s to private security is the fact that if something does happen, they will have a faster response time than your local police due to the fact that they are on scene. They also know your neighborhood and will be able to help determine if a person or car or anything else that seems out of place to you is supposed to be there.
Clubhouse You are at an advantage if you have a clubhouse or meeting facility in your neighborhood. Ask the management if they object to you using the space as your Watch headquarters, and get them involved with your program.
Top Thing To Watch For Neighborhood Watch-A program of systematic local vigilance by residents of a neighborhood to discourage crime, esp. burglary. Look for things that seem out of place and /or suspicious to you. Reference the data you and your Watch team have accumulated and cross reference vehicles and people who seem out of place. If something or someone stands out to you make a note for the future. If something does occur, you now have descriptive information for your local police.
Conclusion You have the power to work with your police department and your peers to make your neighborhood a safer place!!!!
Thank You If you would like to start a Neighborhood Watch Program please contact Police Officer Bernadette Peter #097 at the Marlboro Township Police Department 732-536-0100.