The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office participates in Neighborhood Watch, a crime prevention program which enlists the active participation of community members in cooperation with law enforcement to reduce crime in their neighborhood.
Each neighborhood elects a "Block Captain" who coordinates information in their neighborhood and acts as a liaison with the police. The program encourages neighbors to get to know each other and to protect themselves from criminal activity.
Benefits of having a Neighborhood Watch:
- Adding the deterrence of Neighborhood Watch signs.
- Crime prevention training by the Sheriff’s Office.
- A team concept of neighbors working together.
- Improved livability.
- Knowing your neighbors and looking out for one another.
- Improved home security.
- An ongoing partnership with the Sheriff's Office.
- Information about available resources and services.
The Neighborhood Watch Program Process
- The first step in forming or revitalizing a Neighborhood Watch group is to create awareness among neighbors and potential volunteers about a particular concern or general issue.
Step Two: Organize Volunteers - The focus of the second step is to get the word out and begin to recruit individuals who want to form the “core” group of the new Neighborhood Watch effort.
Step Three: Coordinate With Law Enforcement - Once the neighborhood issues have been identified and the core group has been established, the group should meet with their local law enforcement agency (if outside the City limits, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office) to learn how the public and law enforcement can build a strong partnership in order to create and sustain a Neighborhood Watch group and resolve the community issues.
Step Four: Identify Concerns, Issues and Problems - The group should first meet to address and prioritize their concerns, issues or problems.
Step Five: Develop Strategies - A meeting should be held to develop a realistic strategic plan that identifies not only the concerns but also the resources that are available to achieve specific goals.
Step Six: Training - Neighborhood watch leaders and their volunteers should schedule meetings where they can receive training by law enforcement in crime prevention topics such as “Observation Skills”, Target Hardening for the Home”, and “Reporting Suspicious Activity”.
Step Seven: Action steps - After receiving training the Neighborhood Watch group is ready to begin conducting a wide range of activities including: recruiting new members, mobilizing volunteers and taking proactive steps to reclaim or strengthen their community against crime and terrorism.
- Step One: Create Awareness
If you are interested in participating in Neighborhood Watch or have additional questions, contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Community Services Division at (402) 444-6173.