Neighborhood Watch

The Basics

A simple program, Neighborhood Watch, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Sierra Vista’s neighborhoods. The foundation of the program is built upon citizens and police working in partnership. A Neighborhood Watch is a cohesive body of concerned citizens coming together to address common issues that affect their neighborhood.

Why Neighborhood Watch?

Whether you live in a high crime area or not, a comprehensive Neighborhood Watch Program offers numerous benefits. It instills a greater sense of security and well being, and reduces the fear of crime in your neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch helps instill a greater “sense of community” by putting the neighbor back into neighborhood.

Here are some of the other benefits you can expect by participating in Sierra Vista’s Neighborhood Watch Program:

  • Reducing the risk of being a crime victim
  • Being better prepared to respond to suspicious activity
  • Increased information on issues that impact your neighborhood
  • Obtaining Neighborhood Watch signs
  • Getting to know your neighbors
  • Reducing the fear of crime and making your neighborhood more livable

How Much Work Is Involved?

The answer depends on you. Some areas have major concerns requiring some work; others just want to maintain their area and don’t want to spend a great deal of time on it. In order to be recognized as an “active” Neighborhood Watch group you must have at least two meetings within a calendar year. These could include a clean-up day, ice cream social, BBQ, educational program, etc. Also annually Neighborhood Watch audit paperwork must be updated.

The Role Of The Neighborhood Watch Captain

The Neighborhood Watch captain serves as the coordinator and liaison of the group. It is up to the Neighborhood Watch captain to serve as a spokesperson, schedule group activities, and coordinate neighborhood activities and communication. Likewise, the captain should:
Maintain a list of all members
Develop, maintain, and distribute neighborhood maps for your area including names, addresses, and telephone numbers
Set up a communication network for your area such as a telephone tree
Greet new neighbors, encourage them to join, and update the neighborhood watch list
Provide sign in sheets of the Neighborhood Watch activities to the Sierra Vista Police Department

The Role Of The Members

Everyone in the Neighborhood Watch plays an important part in the success of the program! Members should learn the names of their neighbors and the kinds of cars they drive. They should keep a copy of the Neighborhood Watch map and telephone tree readily accessible. In fact, the role of individual members includes attending meetings, watching out for suspicious activity, displaying Neighborhood Watch signs, and assisting the police by learning how to become a good witness. Furthermore, individual members should also schedule a Home Security Check for recommendations on making their homes safer and more crime resistant. But above all, being a member means getting involved. If you don’t do it, who will? Neighborhood Watch is quite simply the most effective way to reduce or prevent crime while improving the quality of life in your neighborhood.

Neighborhood Programs

The Sierra Vista Police Department offers a wide variety of presentations about crime prevention. Consider using these presentations for your Neighborhood Watch meetings. With the exception of the Home Security Survey, the following programs are designed for group presentation:
Burglary Prevention
Personal Safety
Child Abuse
Child Safety
Cons and Frauds
Abuse of the Elderly
Identity Theft

Community And Police Working Together

Every neighborhood has its own personality that makes it unique. What works in one area may not work in another. When starting a Neighborhood Watch be creative and include others on your team. Remember, there is strength in numbers. Criminal justice professionals readily admit that in the absence of citizen assistance, neither more manpower, improved technology, nor additional money will enable law enforcement to shoulder the monumental burden of combating crime in America. Teamwork between neighbors and the police is what Neighborhood Watch is all about.

Crime Free Multi-Housing Program

The Sierra Vista Crime Free Multi-Housing Program is a free program designed to help owners and managers of rental properties keep drugs and other illegal activity off their property. The purpose of this program is to educate the landlords and their residents on how to improve the livability of their neighborhoods by reducing crime and taking steps toward providing a clean and safe living environment for the citizens of Sierra Vista.

The Sierra Vista Crime Free Multi-Housing Program effectively deals with illegal activity on rental property, while providing the residents with the best protection against crime and violent criminals.

This program is honest and direct, it is solution oriented, and is designed to be easy and very effective in reducing crime on rental properties. It has three key elements that will ensure the crime prevention goal:

  • Phase One Staff Training – one, eight-hour workshop
  • Phase Two Premises Security Assessments
  • Phase Three Resident Training/Safety Social

To address the crime problem in rental communities requires a unique coalition of owners, property management, managers and staff, residents, and the police. The most effective way to deal with any illegal activity on rental property is through a coordinated crime prevention effort.

Questions about Neighborhood Watch? Contact Cpl. Tim Wachtel at (520) 452-7500.