Perhaps you have heard the slogan “Take a Bite out of Crime” or seen the signs throughout communities
that say Block Watch. What does all that mean and how do I get my neighborhood involved?

The National Crime Prevention Council is the nation’s leader in helping people keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime. This group was founded in 1982 and coordinates with local agencies in educating and engaging communities to learn crime prevention strategies.

Today you will find those Block Watch signs throughout the country and they feature McGruff the Crime Dog. Since its formation now more than 75 percent of children recognize McGruff and associate him with safety.

The advantages of having an organized Block Watch in your neighborhood are numerous according to police officials who oversee the program. The programs develop a bond and strength in numbers in the neighborhood and pull the neighborhood together to look out for each other because of a common interest… taking part in keeping the neighborhood safe.

Block Watch programs begin with the interest of just one person desiring to be pro-active in the neighborhood with a goal to keep their home and neighborhood safe. Canvass your neighbors for interest in a Block Watch, and then coordinate and conduct a meeting and that includes community leaders, law enforcement officials and of course the neighbors. Law enforcement officials will outline the role and duties of an organized block watch and provide ideas for meetings.

Depending on the city in which you reside, organized and registered Block Watch groups can apply for grants which can help with purchases in your neighborhood, such as the block watch signs, lights, etc. Requirements for each Block Watch to become officially registered depends on your local police department. Some cities required four annual meetings while others may only require one. So how do you begin?

Talk to your neighbors to see if there is an interest in a Block Watch. Schedule an initial meeting. Work with your police department and community action officer Talk to other block watch communities for ideas.

When calling the police department call the NON EMERGENCY phone number.