An Ounce of Prevention
Neighborhood watch, block watch, town watch, whatever the title, this initiative is one of the most effective ways to prevent crime, attend to home and personal security, address the safety of our children and the elderly and reduce fear and isolation. Civic involvement, collaborative problem-solving and mutual commitments have helped cities and neighborhoods reduce crime by significant numbers.
In early 1972, the National Sheriffs' Association created a model program for today’s neighborhood watch. At that time, the Chiefs were searching for ways to attack the increasing burglary rate across the country. It was recognized that communities able to secure the assistance of their residents in observing, recognizing, and reporting suspicious or criminal activities were better able to keep the burglary rate down and reduce other crimes. Today, neighborhood watch is the largest single organized crime prevention project in the nation.
We know that neighborhood watch forges strong bonds among residents. Watch groups create a sense of community and pride by forming a unified group of citizens dedicated to improving their neighborhood. Partnering with law enforcement, citizens become their eyes and ears. These groups also serve as an empowering outlet for victims of crime. It helps give victims a greater sense of control-ensuring that what happened to them will be less likely to happen to others.
A neighborhood watch program can also be a springboard for many other efforts to address the causes of crime, reduce crime and improve neighborhood conditions including:
- Affordable Housing
- Child Care
- Community Beautification
- Economic Development
- Senior Citizen Activities
- Youth Recreation
Benefits of Neighborhood Watch
1. Deters criminal activity;
2. Creates a greater sense of security and reduces fear of crime;
3. Builds bonds with neighbors; people look out for one another; it stimulates neighborhood awareness;
4. Reduces the risk of becoming a crime victim; it reduces the physical, financial, and psychological costs of crime;
5. Instructs residents on how to observe and report suspicious activities in your community;
6. Addresses quality of life issues and mutual interests in your community.
7. Enhances homeland security; and
8. Works collaboratively with other civic activities.
Anyone who is interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch program in their community can get additional information by emailing Community Relations at 407-260-3400.
Participating Communities & Associations
Some of the communities and/or associations that participate in the Neighborhood Watch program, such as Winsor Manor.