Block Watch

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Neighborhood Watch is a community partnership crime prevention program. Other names for Neighborhood Watch include: Citizens Crime Watch, Home Alert, and Block Watch. Whatever the program's name, it all flows from the same basic concept of citizens working with the police department to enhance the safety of the community.

Neighborhood Watch volunteers serve as the eyes and ears of the community, reporting suspicious activity to the Police Department for action by a trained officer. Volunteers do not confront people or place themselves in dangerous situation. Neighborhood Watch volunteers do become active partners with the police in patrolling neighborhoods and protecting residents.

Your civic association or local neighborhood group can start a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood and work with the Police Department to detect and prevent crime.

Neighborhood Watch operates in several ways:

  • Neighborhood Watch members conduct citizen patrols in their community on foot or by car. Watchers keep a lookout for any suspicious activity and also help by reporting other issues which may affect the community such as burned out street lights, dangerous road conditions, damaged or missing road signs, abandoned cars, or other concerns.
  • When any suspicious activity is observed, members immediately contact the police department to report the incident. Many Neighborhood Watch groups have a cellular telephone dedicated to the group's use or members use their own phone. Minor problems such as vehicles with expired license plates, are phoned in to the department's program coordinator during regular business hours.
  • Neighborhood Watch members also frequently work with their neighbors to monitor the homes of residents who are away on vacation, to keep an eye on seniors in their neighborhood who may have serious medical problems, and to provide adult oversight for kids at playgrounds or on their way to or from school.
Want to join or get a Neighborhood Watch program started in your neighborhood? For more information please contact the Community Services Section at 703.273.2889.