Thursday, February 13, 2014

LAPD: Community: How do I start a Neighborhood Watch Program?

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Wednesday February 12, 2014, 2:56 PM

LAPD - Van Nuys

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Community: How do I start a Neighborhood Watch Program?
Hi Bel-Air Association,
Neighborhood Watch programs are the most effective means available for keeping crime out of neighborhoods. It relies on the best
crime fighting tool ever invented, i.e., a good neighbor. Fortunately, good neighbors are found everywhere. They live in houses, apartment buildings, urban, suburban and rural areas.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Neighborhood Watch Program unites the LAPD with local organizations and individual residents in a community- wide effort to reduce residential crime.
Neighbors working together with the LAPD are a formidable crime fighting team. Be a good neighbor and make your community safer by starting a Neighborhood Watch Program.

How do I start a Neighborhood Watch Program?

The LAPD will assist in starting a program in your neighborhood. An LAPD representative will be available for your first meeting to assist with the initial organization of the Neighborhood Watch Program
and discuss crime concerns specific to your neighborhood or community. Contact your LAPD community police station to get started.

Talk to your neighbors. Are they interested? Do they understand the value of a Neighborhood Watch Program? Are they aware of, or concerned about specific crime problems in your area?

If they are, be sure to mention the following

• Neighborhood Watch is a partnership between neighbors to assist the LAPD in the reduction and fear of crime;
• Neighborhood Watch does not require frequent meetings;
• Neighborhood Watch does not make ask anyone to take personal risks to prevent crime;
• LAPD will attend your meetings to answer questions about crime and provide information about police procedures

Maintaining a Neighborhood Watch Program

After your Neighborhood Watch is established, be sure everyone understands and observes the following guidelines:

• Be alert to unusual or suspicious behavior in your neighborhood. Call the LAPD if necessary. Write down descriptions of suspicious person(s) and license numbers;
•Tell a trusted neighbor if your house will be unoccupied for an extended period. Tell him or her how to reach you in an emergency;
• Look after your neighbor's homes when they are away and ask them to look after yours. This includes picking up mail, newspapers and storing trashcans or recycling bins. Don't send a message that says, 'No One Is Home;"
• Attend Neighborhood Watch meetings often.
Your LAPD crime prevention officer will teach you about local crime trends and what you can do about them;
• Above all, stay involved. It is the most effective way to reduce or prevent crime and make your neighborhood safe; and
• Remember your job is to report crime. The responsibility for apprehending criminals belongs to the police.

The key to keeping a Neighborhood Watch group active is maintaining interest over time. By getting everyone involved you will create a feeling of pride and the atmosphere of a small town, even if you live in a large city. Neighborhood Watch can easily be adapted to meet your needs, wherever you live or work.

Active Neighborhood Watch groups can make changes, through their local officials, such as improving street lighting, increasing extra patrol and changing traffic flow patterns. Active apartment or multifamily
dwelling groups can make changes by working closely with their landlords or building managers. They can work together to improve lighting and security of individual units, as well as communal areas and
develop new policies or practices to improve building or property security.

Make belonging to your Neighborhood Watch group enjoyable. People will get involved and remain interested if the programs are fun as well as meaningful. Use your imagination. Schedule potluck dinners, organize clean-up campaigns or hold block parties. The possibilities are endless when neighbors unite and work together.
For full details, view this message on the web.

Sent by LAPD - Van Nuys
6240 Sylmar Ave, Los Angeles, CA 91401
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