Parkersburg and Wood County Neighborhood Watch
In This Section
What is Neighborhood Watch? | How Neighborhood Watch Operates | What You Can Do | Other Neighborhood Watch Activities | Observation | Suspicious Activities | Obtain Details About the Suspect | Describing the Vehicle | Calling the Police | Dialing 911

What Is Neighborhood Watch?

Watching out for our neighborsNeighborhood Watch is a citizens’ involvement program where citizens, in cooperation with their local law enforcement agency, directly participate in the detection and prevention of crime. Other names for Neighborhood Watch include: “Citizens Crime Watch,” “Home Alert,” or “Block Watch.” Whatever the group’s name is, it all flows from the same basic concept of citizens watching their community.

Citizens involved in Neighborhood Watch are trained in how to recognize suspicious or criminal activities and report these activities to their police department. These Neighborhood Watch Citizens keep well informed about their neighborhood and of any suspicious, criminal, or dangerous activities that may be occurring. In short, Neighborhood Watch Citizens provide valuable information to their local law enforcement agency which investigates suspicious activities, apprehends criminals, and prevents crime. Neighborhood Watch can and will make our community a better and safer place to live.

What Neighborhood Watch is NOT

Neighborhood Watch is not a group of vigilantes or lawless people taking the law into their own hands. Neighborhood Watch Citizens do not take the place of their police department in enforcing the law or apprehending criminals.

Why Neighborhood Watch Works

To understand the value of Neighborhood Watch in a community, you must first understand that your local law enforcement agency is limited in their available manpower. A Neighborhood Watch Program in your community will greatly help your local police overcome their manpower shortage. This is done by the use of alert citizens within the community who are constantly observing their neighborhood for suspicious activities.

Police Officer Availability

Police carOn a national scale there is approximate one police officer for every 2,000 citizens. From a practical standpoint, many police officers are not actually involved in patrolling their community. These officers are assigned to other tasks such as investigative work, administrative duties, traffic enforcement, writing reports, and court appearances. These necessary functions limit the available police manpower for neighborhood patrol.

Obviously, there are many more citizens than there are police officers. Neighborhood Watch greatly reduces this ratio of citizens to police by having Neighborhood Watch Citizens become an extension of the police department’s eyes and ears.

Polkice officer overlooking cityUnlimited Citizen Availability

Neighborhood Watch provides its community with unlimited availability of their citizens to watch their neighborhoods for suspicious activities or crime. Unlike the police who are limited in where they can be at any given time or circumstances, Neighborhood Watch Citizens are everywhere all the time. The observations of Neighborhood Watch Citizens are many times greater than any police department could ever have the manpower to provide. This helps deter crime enormously since it puts the criminal element off balance, and the criminal, instead of limiting his concern to police patrols, must put himself on guard against an entire community watching for his criminal conduct.

Page last updated on Friday, 08 January 2021 05:13 PM
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