Neighborhood Crime Watch
Operates Under Two Principles:
- Know Your Neighbors
- Report Suspicious Activity
The basic idea is for neighbors to watch out for each other. By looking after a neighbors property as if it were your own, you will more likely contact the police if you observe something suspicious. Citizens act as extra “eyes and ears” for the police department so that calls to the police will be made when criminal activity is suspected. An alert and cooperative neighborhood is the greatest single defense against crime. By getting to know your neighbors and their vehicles, you will most likely be alert to suspicious people, vehicles, and/or sounds that could indicate criminal activity.
The Crime Prevention Unit of the Plano Police Department will help you organize a Crime Watch Area. Once the Area is organized, Officers will send bulletins to Crime Watch Areas on an as-needed basis. This information is sent regarding crimes of a serious nature, or when a suspects description is available. This information, coupled with the two basic principles of Crime Watch, can help citizens become a part of reducing the overall crime rate in their neighborhoods.
Someone in your neighborhood must be instrumental in generating interest among the neighbors. After contacting your neighbors, the Crime Prevention Unit should be notified so that a meeting can be scheduled. Meetings can be held in homes, churches, schools, or any place that will accommodate the number of people you are expecting. When contacting your neighbors to discuss the program, it is best to talk with them in person rather than leaving them a pamphlet that tells about a meeting. The response will be better, and you’ve already taken the first step in getting to know your neighbors.
An Officer from the Crime Prevention Unit will ‘chair’ the meeting and outline the basic principles of the program and discuss the responsibilities of the Police Department and homeowners. The length of the meeting may vary depending on the groups agenda. Upon completion of the meeting your group will be ready to function as an active Neighborhood Crime Watch Area.
Neighborhood Watch Duties and Responsibilities
Plano Police Responsibilities:
1. Help you get your neighborhood organized.
2. Attend your organizational meetings.
3. Pass important information to area coordinators in your neighborhood.
4. Assist with educational and social neighborhood meetings.
Area Coordinator Responsibilities:
1. Serve as the main contact between the Police Department and your neighborhood watch by receiving information from the Police Department and passing it on to the Block Captains.
2. Organize Block Captains to best cover the neighborhood and recruit replacement Block Captains when positions open up.
3. Submit crime watch sign requests and funds.
4. Encourage Block Captains to have biannual meetings with the crime watch residents.
Block Captain Responsibilities:
1. Pass on the information received from the area coordinator to the individual residential households.
2. Meet with residents on a semi-annual basis (a Crime Prevention Officer can make presentations at these meetings or you might have a Block Party).
3. Distribute Home Security Manuals to each of the residents and collectmoney for the Neighborhood Crime Watch Signs.
4. Maintain, update and distribute New Neighbor Packets. New Neighbor Packets contains a cover letter, neighborhood phone and/or email list, Nine House Sheet, various pamphlets, and a McGruff House Application.
5. Notify Area Coordinator if they are no longer able to perform Block Captain Duties.
As a Crime Watch Neighbor, your responsibilities is to be a good neighbor by watching out for one anthers property and by reporting suspicious activity to the police. You should know the three (3) neighbors across the street from your home, on each side, and the three (3) neighbors behind your residence. YOU should have a heightened awareness for your neighbors welfare and you should be more than willing to report suspicious activity to the police. Citizens can be assured that when they report suspicious activity, their name will be held in strictest confidence.