Neighborhood Watch resource kit

Neighborhood Watch
Los Angeles County has had a tradition of isolation that creates and feeds crime. There is no better way to combat isolation, foster community, and crack down on crime than the creation of a Neighborhood Watch. Throughout the years, Neighborhood Watch has grown from an “extra eyes and ears” approach to an all encompassing crime prevention partnership. This proactive community-oriented endeavor now includes the active involvement of residents with their local law enforcement. It is one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime while forging bonds among area residents.

Neighbors working together in cooperation with law enforcement makes the best crime fighting team around. Any community resident can join a Neighborhood Watch; young or old, single or married, renter or homeowner. Members can learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report suspicious activities to the Sheriff’s Department. You can form a Neighborhood Watch group for any area: a street, mobile home park, apartment complex, marina, community recreation center, or park. Neighborhood Watch groups are not vigilantes. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors. Neighborhood Watch builds pride and serves as a springboard for efforts that address community needs. Citizen involvement is essential to combat this social crisis.

Starting a Neighborhood Watch
Contact your local Sheriff’s station for assistance in training residents in home security and reporting crime. Select a block captain who will be responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to group members. Encourage participation and commitment among residents and neighbors. Make a special effort to involve the elderly. If you are interested in becoming a block captain, call your local Sheriff’s station’s Crime Prevention Unit for additional information.

Suspicious Activities to look for

  • Someone screaming or shouting for help, or being forced into a vehicle
  • Someone looking into windows or parked cars
  • Property being taken out of closed businesses or houses where no one is at home
  • Vehicles cruising aimlessly
  • Someone spraying graffiti on buildings
  • Strangers sitting in a car, stopping to talk to kids
  • Abandoned vehicles, suspicious people, unusual noises
  • A sudden change in a neighbor’s routine: newspapers piling up; drapes drawn; mailbox overflowing with mail
Enhance your Community well-being
  • Organize regular meetings to discuss current issues such as: childcare for school age kids, drug abuse, gang activity, hate crimes, recreational activities for young people
  • Encourage the use of deadbolt locks, smoke alarms and other safety devices in homes and commercial buildings
  • Adopt a school or playground; start a block parent program
  • Form a disaster preparedness program for your neighborhood
Volunteers on Patrol (VOP)

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Civilian Volunteers are dedicated to providing excellent service through relationships that build trust, create a safe environment, and enhance the quality of life in our communities within a “Tradition of Service”. Members of VOP strive to be proud representatives of the community by being highly visible while on patrol. The primary objectives for the members shall be to prevent crime by mere presence, or identify public hazards. Members shall also act as the eyes and ears of the Sheriff’s Department by identifying suspicious activities, crimes in progress, or dangerous circumstances. The members shall not take action themselves, but shall notify the proper authorities for handling. The Volunteers On Patrol members accept their mission to serve the community with the enduring belief that in so doing, they will maintain the high level of safety, quality of life, and the beauty of the community that everyone is entitled.  For more information on requirements, click here.  Sign up now by clicking here.

Information is provided courtesy of Los Angeles County Sheriff Department.  For more information on Community / Law Enforcement Program, click here or call 323-526-5015 or email by clicking here.

 




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