What is It?
Community Watch Groups -- were developed to encourage citizen involvement and deter crime by early detection. Citizens volunteer to become extra eyes for the police department, reporting crime and suspicious behavior. Citizens learn to anticipate, recognize, and appraise the crime risks in their neighborhoods, and how to take action that removes or reduces those risks. A Community Watch Organization is a proven crime reduction program; but like any self-help activity, its success depends upon you and your neighbors.
How Do I Start a Community Watch Organization?
- First, talk with your neighbors about the need for such a group, based on personal knowledge of crime or suspicious activity in your area
- Then, set a time and place for your neighbors to meet and discuss topics of mutual interest (The meeting can be held somewhere outside of your neighborhood)
- Next, invite Police Department employees to present information on crime detection and prevention
- Choose coordinators and block captains, who are responsible for organizing meetings and passing information on to members
- Recruit others. Attendance is critical for the group's success, and at least 50% attendance is needed to qualify for posting community watch signs
How Can Neighbors Help?
Neighbors can report unusual activities such as:
- Someone screaming or shouting for help
- Someone looking into residential or parked vehicle windows
- Unusual noises
- Property being taken out of closed businesses or houses where no one is home
- Cars, vans or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination, or without lights after dusk
- A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child
- Anyone being forced into a vehicle
- Abandoned vehicles
- Narcotic sales
- Suspicious activity
A Community Watch Organization is a proven crime reduction program; but like any self-help activity, its success depends upon you and your neighbors.
To organize a Community Watch Organization, call the Mount Pleasant Police Department at 903-575-4004.