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Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch throughout Visalia continues to increase in numbers & strength. Since the full implementation of Community Oriented Policing & Problem Solving, Neighborhood Watch has evolved to an even greater effective method of crime prevention. Neighborhood Watch groups are getting to know their Sector Officer assigned to their neighborhood. Avenues of communication are being formed through neighborhood meetings & block parties where they discuss common concerns with their officer. This has been the catalyst that has spurred neighbors to get to know one another & work together on neighborhood problems & projects such as community clean ups & improvements that benefit the City of Visalia.

Neighborhood Watch is a national program which unites law enforcement agencies, local organizations & individual citizens in a community-wide effort to reduce residential crime. Thousands of these programs have been developed around the country.

How To Start a Neighborhood Watch

  • Any community resident can take part (young or old, single or married, renter or home owner).
  • A few concerned residents, a community organization or a law enforcement agency can spearhead the effort to organize a Neighborhood Watch.
  • Members learn how to secure their homes, watch out for each other & the neighborhood, & report activities that raise their suspicions to the police or sheriff's office.
  • You can form a Neighborhood Watch group around any geographical unit: a block, apartment building, park, business area or housing complex.
  • Form a small planning committee. Decide on a date & place for an initial neighborhood meeting.
  • Contact your local law enforcement agency. Request that a crime prevention officer come to your meeting to discuss your community's problems & needs. Ask the officer to bring a list of local contacts that will assist you in organizing maintaining your program.

Getting Organized...

  • Contact as many of your neighbors as possible & ask them if they would be willing to meet to organize a Neighborhood Watch group in your area.
  • Contact your local law enforcement agency for help in training members on home security & reporting skills, and for information on local crime patterns.
  • Select a Neighborhood Watch block captain who is responsible for organizing meetings & relaying information to members.
  • Put up highly visible Neighborhood Watch signs & decals. These alert criminals that community members will watch & report their activities.
  • Become a part of the Police Department's Citizens Volunteer Patrol Program.

What to Watch For...

  • Screaming or shouting for help.
  • Someone looking into windows of houses or parked cars.
  • Unusual noises.
  • Property being taken out of houses or buildings where no one is at home, or the business is closed.
  • Cars, vans or trucks moving slowly with no lights or no apparent destination.
  • Anyone being forced into a vehicle.
  • A stranger running through private yards or alleyways.
  • A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child.
  • Abandoned cars.

Do not investigate these problems on your own!  Report these incidents to the Police Department.  Alert neighbors of such situations.

Developing Awareness...

Once you get started organizing a Neighborhood Watch, there is virtually no limit to the innovative ways to combat crime & increase involvement of members in your community.

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