Neighborhood Watch & Crime Prevention Program

Purpose & Goals

Crime Prevention is the foundation block of the community policing concept, and is important in the future of law enforcement, especially in light of declining budgets.

1. What is Neighborhood Watch? 

The Neighborhood Watch Community Action and Problem-Solving Program is one of the most effective means available for resolving issues within your community.  Through organized problem-solving activities, your block can reduce crime in your neighborhood and address any community issue that concern residents. 

The Neighborhood Watch program relies on the best method there is – a good neighbor.  Fortunately, good neighbors are found everywhere.  Neighborhood Watch is not guard-duty.  The focus is on community issues, forming community action groups, getting to resolutions, and involves being aware of suspicious activity and knowing what to do about it.  In other words, it is securing your property and developing a neighborhood communication network. 

2.    How do you start a Neighborhood Watch program?

First, select the area to be covered by your Neighborhood Watch block.  A block consists of 12-20 homes that surround you. Personally contact and talk with as many block participants as possible.  Share this information about the Neighborhood Watch Program and ask neighbors to participate.  Select an evening during the week that is convenient to participating neighbors.  

Choose a meeting site.  It is important to hold the meeting in the home of a neighbor to encourage an informal atmosphere.  If this is not possible consider the following possibilities: 

  • Neighborhood School
  • Church
  • Community Center
  • Library meeting room

For your agenda, plan to discuss the need for a Neighborhood Watch program, the expected results, problem areas, and obtain commitments from your neighbors to participate.  This is YOUR neighborhood watch group and is not managed by the Sheriff's Office; however, we commit to supporting your group by providing guidance and support. 

Next, contact our Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officers at 530-265-1471 or by email at at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting to arrange for a Sheriff Office representative to attend your kickoff meeting, or subsequent meetings if desired. We will do our best to have a Sheriff representative attend meetings with advance notice, and as staffing levels allow. 

3.    What is the Sheriff’s Office Role in Neighborhood Watch?

We will attend your kickoff meeting and explain the purpose of Neighborhood Watch; what it is and is NOT. We can help gather crime stats for your area and discuss specific crime problems in your neighborhood. We can also give crime prevention tips and share about general crime trends we are seeing.

4.  Where can someone find more information about Neighborhood Watch? 

The US DOJ and National Sheriffs' Association published a manual you can get here or you can also visit the National Neighborhood Watch Institute's website for more information.