In the late 1960s, an increase in crime heightened the need for a crime prevention initiative focused on residential areas that involved citizens working with local law enforcement. The Neighborhood Watch Program started and has since become one of the best-known and most successful crime prevention concepts in our country.
The Saginaw Township Police Department is committed to working with citizens by developing new, as well as enhancing existing, Neighborhood Watches. By partnering with residents, keep them informed of current crime trends, and providing them with valuable crime prevention information, we hope to reduce the likelihood of you becoming a victim of a crime. Neighborhood Watch is a proven strategy for preventing crime, reducing fear of crime, and improving the quality of our community.
Successful and sustaining Neighborhood Watches must be driven by the residents of that particular street, neighborhood or subdivision.
The potential for Neighborhood Watch Programs is limited only by your imagination and the willingness of you and your neighbors to become actively involved. In addition to preventing crime, a Neighborhood Watch can work to resolve problems, increase quality of life, and even increase the value of the homes in your area. Neighborhood Watch Groups are critical in helping prepare citizens for emergencies, natural disasters, and homeland defense.
Establishing a Neighborhood Watch Program
What is a Neighborhood Watch?
A Neighborhood Watch is an organized effort by concerned citizens to prevent crime and improve the quality of life in their neighborhood. In cooperation with the Saginaw Township Police Department, neighbors work to safeguard each other’s homes and reduce the risk of crime in their community.
How is a Neighborhood Watch organized?
A Neighborhood Watch generally consists of a Coordinator, Block Captains and Watch members, but your Watch can be customized to meet the needs of your area. The Coordinator serves as the liaison between your neighborhood and the police department. The Coordinator also is responsible for the sharing of information with the Block Captains. Block Captains communicate with the Watch members who live on their respective blocks. Watch members are the “eyes and ears” of the Neighborhood Watch. The success of Neighborhood Watch depends on neighbors who are alert and who communicate with each other.
What Does a Watch Coordinator Have to Do?
Initially the Watch Coordinator works with the Neighborhood Watch Program Director to plan a Start-Up Meeting. After that meeting, the Watch Coordinator is responsible for creating and maintaining a Neighborhood Watch phone tree (a list of the names and telephone numbers of all participating members). Coordinators must have at least one Neighborhood Watch meeting every year, although we encourage you to have gatherings on a more regular basis. (The Neighborhood Watch Program Director can assist the Coordinator with planning the agenda for Watch meetings.) The primary duty of the Watch Coordinator is to serve as a liaison between your neighbors and the police department.
What Do Block Captains Have to Do?
In conjunction with the Coordinator, Block Captains make up the “core team” that makes the Neighborhood Watch function. Block Captains support the Coordinator by communicating with residents in their immediate area. The number of Block Captains that a Watch has is determined by the size of the Watch. Block Captains’ primary duties are to share information with the Watch members and to assist the Coordinator with events and meetings.
What Do Watch Members Have to Do?
The fundamental purpose of Neighborhood Watch is to prevent crime by increasing member’s awareness. Members are expected to pay attention to what goes on in their neighborhood, to recognize suspicious activity, and to report it to the police. Additionally, members may work with the Block Captains and the Coordinator to solve neighborhood problems or participate in organized events.
What Can We Expect from the Neighborhood Watch Program Director?
The Program Director’s role is to provide you with the information and tools that your neighborhood needs to successfully implement and maintain a strong Neighborhood Watch program.
You can expect the Program Director to help you in the early stages of your watch development by educating you about Neighborhood Watch, providing pamphlets and other materials that you can share with Watch members, and attending your initial meetings. The Program Director is responsible for training Neighborhood Watch members to recognize and report suspicious activity and to actively prevent crime through proper home security measures.
Additionally, the Program Director can assist you with resolving crime or quality of life problems in your neighborhood. Well organized neighborhoods make for a better community, and we are committed to helping you and your neighbors organize an active and effective Neighborhood Watch!
Please call on your Neighborhood Watch Program Director to support your efforts to make your neighborhood a safer and better place to live.
How Do We Get Started?
Talk with your neighbors to generate interest in neighborhood Watch. Contact the Saginaw Township Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit and request to speak with your neighborhood’s Crime Prevention Officer to plan an initial Neighborhood Watch meeting. At your initial meeting, the Program Director will explain the Neighborhood Watch philosophy to your neighbors. The Watch Coordinator will solicit volunteers to help as Block Captains and make a plan for contacting those neighbors who did not attend the meeting. The phone tree can also be started at this meeting.
Saginaw Township Police Department Neighborhood Watch
Crime Prevention Officers serve as the Neighborhood Watch Program Directors, whose responsibility is to provide you and your neighbors with the information and tools that your neighborhood needs to successfully implement and maintain a strong Neighborhood Watch program.
- Officer Chris Fredenburg
- Officer Randy Schroeder
- Officer Adam Nothelfer
If you are interested in learning more about how you and your neighborhood can organize a Neighborhood Watch, please contact the Crime Prevention Unit at (989) 791-7210.