Neighborhood Watch is undoubtedly one of the oldest and most well known crime prevention concepts in history. While the modern day concept of Neighborhood Watch came into prominence in the late 1960s in response to an increasing burglary rate, its roots in America can actually be traced all the way back to the days of Colonial settlements when night watchmen patrolled the streets.

The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) took this crime prevention concept a step further by making it a national initiative — the National Neighborhood Watch Program. The program was developed in response to a multitude of requests from Sheriffs and Police Chiefs around the country. Law enforcement leaders were looking for a crime prevention program which would incorporate citizen involvement, and which would address the increasing number of burglaries taking place, especially in rural and suburban residential areas.

Throughout the years, Neighborhood Watch has grown from an “extra eyes and ears” approach to crime prevention to a much more proactive, community-oriented endeavor. Neighborhood Watch groups are now incorporating activities that not only address crime prevention issues, but which also restore pride and unity to a neighborhood. It is not uncommon to see Neighborhood Watch groups participating in neighborhood cleanups and other activities which impact the quality of life for community residents. The adoption of community policing by local law enforcement agencies has also contributed to the resurgence in Watch groups over the years. Neighborhood Watch fits nicely within the framework of law enforcement/community partnerships, and Neighborhood Watch meetings can be a useful forum to discuss neighborhood problems and practice roblem-solving techniques.

Crime prevention materials offered through the National Neighborhood Watch Program for over 30 years, NSA has consistently provided cost-effective and community-effective crime prevention materials for use by law enforcement and private citizens in their Neighborhood Watch efforts. NSA makes available a comprehensive array of materials — perfect for groups in the formative stage, well-established groups, or groups that wish to revitalize their current program.

Among the items NSA makes available:

  • Metal Road Signs
  • Window Decals
  • Magnetic Car Signs

Please visit the national website for Homeland Security Neighborhood Watch at http://www.nnw.org/usaonwatch

If you would like to learn more about the Neighborhood Watch program or would like to sign up your community, please send us an email at penningtonj@jccal.org