How can I start or join a Neighborhood Watch near my home?
By Deanna Myers
This is still a hot topic, so I thought a refresher would be beneficial. There are six basic steps to getting a neighborhood watch program started within your community.
Step 1- Create Awareness. Start a buzz in the neighborhood about keeping it safe. Many people nowadays, with all the modern technology, have started to disconnect from their neighbors. Communication starts with a wave and a smile, followed by starting to talk about your concern for continued safety within your community.
Step 2- Organize Volunteers. Once you have started a buzz, neighbors often begin sharing their personal information in order to become more involved. Gather their information and set up a neighborhood meeting with them.
Step 3- Coordinate with Law Enforcement- this is where I come in. I will provide a short Power Point presentation and an activity for your neighbors. I will give them the tools they need to combat current issues in the neighborhood and keep those issues from returning.
Step 4- Identify Concerns, Issues and Problems. Once the group has been formed and they have had time to think about the new tools they have been given, it’s time to discuss where the problems are in your neighborhood. It is best to prioritize the concerns of the volunteers so they can all get addressed in a timely manner.
Step 5- Develop Strategies. Six heads are better than one. As your group comes together, you can start to come up with ways in which to deal with issues. Having additional people from different backgrounds that come with different resources can be invaluable in eradicating problems in your neighborhood.
Step 6-Action Steps. Depending on the severity of the problems that arise in your neighborhood, there are several different ways to attack the issues. Planning activities such as clean-up days, neighborhood patrols, and joining social groups such as www.nextdoor.com are just a few of the ways to bring your neighborhoods closer and keep people involved. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING!
Deanna Myers is the Volunteer and Programs Coordinator for the Jurupa Valley Station of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department that services the Eastvale Police Department. She has been with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for about eight years, and most recently was assigned to patrol within the City of Eastvale before moving into her current position where she is in charge of the Neighborhood Watch program for the City of Eastvale.