Do you ever wonder what happened to the classic American neighborhood? The sense of community, neighborhood cookouts, children playing outside, and everyone knowing their neighbors by name. The Johnsons, the Bensons, the Joneses, and if a stranger came prowling through the neighborhood mama hens would be up in arms, on the phone with each other, and fathers would be sent out to confront suspicious looking strangers (some of us have seen this with our own eyes). In this age of air conditioning, 1000 channel cable television, and computer games, neighbors are becoming nothing more than people that live nearby.
Communities Standing Together
Earlier this week, the nation celebrated Nation Night Out, an opportunity to get to know your neighbors and local law enforcement. This event is exactly the kind of thing our nation should be doing, because it stresses the importance of meeting your neighbors and building a sense of community in your neighborhood. Building a strong community network is one of the best ways to prevent crime and make your neighborhood a safer place to live. Today, one of the best ways to build community is by forming a neighborhood watch. With funny movies like Neighborhood Watch and, it is no surprise that there is a great deal of confusion and a lack understanding about these organizations. According to the National Neighborhood Watch, the purpose of a neighborhood watch is to “unite community members to establish control of their neighborhood to improve quality of life and reduce crime in the area.” Neighborhood watch programs are bringing residents together across America to fight crime
How Do We Start a Neighborhood Watch?
The National Neighborhood Watch lists five essential steps for establishing and maintaining an effective Neighborhood Watch Program in your area.
Step #1 – Recruit and organize as many neighbors as possible
Step #2 – Meet with local law enforcement
Step #3 – Discuss community concerns and develop an action plan
Step #4 – Create a communication plan
Step #5 – Hold meetings and events
Start by mapping out the area in your watch and establish partnerships with both residents and local law enforcement. Address goals and concerns from both law enforcement and residents. Recruit and teach volunteers and be sure to select enthusiastic leaders that are well organized. Finally, organize community projects that will help draw in new recruits and keep volunteers engaged. Consider projects like cleaning up graffiti or building a neighborhood playground. It takes patience, planning, and enthusiasm to form a successful Neighborhood Watch Program. Check out the National Neighborhood Watch website when you are ready and register your watch.
Unfortunately, many of the communities that need Neighborhood Watch Programs the most are the least likely to have a watch. Once a watch is established in your neighborhood, do what you can to help form a watch in a less fortunate neighborhood. Butler Durrell is the best alarm company in St. Louis, because we care about the safety of your family, your neighborhood, our city, and our nation as much as you do. Follow us on Facebook for more safety tips and security advice.