Neighborhood Watch is a shared responsibility and connection between the police and the community. The goal is to make Pittsburg a safer, more livable city through crime prevention and problem solving strategies. It is part of the overall philosophy of Pittsburg's Community Policing.
The Neighborhood Watch program involves:
- Neighbors getting to know each other and working together.
- Implementing crime prevention techniques and strategies in homes and neighborhoods.
- Helping to solve neighborhood problems through a partnership between you and your police department.
- Learning about other public and private agencies that can be resources in helping to solve neighborhood problems.
If you would like information on how to join or form a Neighborhood Watch Group in your neighborhood, please contact Toni Baldazo at (925) 252-4166.
What is Neighborhood Watch and how does it work?
Neighborhood Watch groups, the foundation of community crime prevention, were created to encourage citizen involvement in preventing residential crime. Involved neighbors report suspicious activities to the Pittsburg Police Department and members watch out for their neighbors either through observing from their homes or through patrols. Patrols may be foot patrols or vehicle patrols.
Neighborhood Watch educates participants in the principles of deterrence, delay, and detection. The program depends on a communication network organized with three levels of participants: the residents, watch leaders, and the Police Department.
Neighborhood Watch is a proven crime-reduction program, and like any self-help program, its success depends upon you and your neighbor. Neighborhood Watch does not condone vigilante actions. No one is asked to take personal risks.
How do I start a Neighborhood Watch Program in my community?
The benefits of organizing and participating in a Neighborhood Watch program translate into a higher quality of life. The following are some standard steps to help ensure a strong attendance and participation in your Neighborhood Watch Program.
- As a concerned community member contact Community Outreach Coordinator Toni Baldazo at (925) 252-4166 to discuss the possibility of starting a Neighborhood Watch.
- After the decision to have a start up meeting, you may want to personally canvass your neighborhood for interest and explain the value of the Neighborhood Watch Program in the area and ascertain convenient dates, times and possible locations to schedule your initial group meeting.
- Be sure that you schedule your first meeting in a place convenient to the neighborhood, such as a private home, church, school, library or other local community building. Contact the Pittsburg Police Department Neighborhood Watch office in advance to secure the date and place of the first meeting with the police department representative.
- Seek help from the neighbors you contact. They may volunteer to help with refreshments, folding chairs, escorting seniors or the disabled to the meeting.
- Recruit a neighbor to draw a large map of all the streets and households to be covered by your Neighborhood Watch organization. Start with a manageable number of homes at first. You can always add other areas.
- Send or deliver an invitation to each participating household. Just before the meeting follow up each invitation with a call or personal visit, reminding neighbors of the meeting time and place. Try to get each household to commit at least one adult member to the meeting so you can estimate potential attendance.
- All age groups are welcome to join Neighborhood Watch, as they can add substantially to the program. Senior citizen participation is a plus. Retired seniors who are home can observe the neighborhood when many other adults are at work.
- At the meeting give your neighbors a chance to socialize, and then explain the agenda. Pass out an attendance sheet with names, addresses and phone numbers. Recruit one or more volunteers to complete a communication tree. Arrange for copies of the above lists and maps to be given to each member of your Watch.
While organizing, be sure to mention:
- Neighborhood Watch does not require frequent meetings.
- Neighborhood Watch does not ask anyone to take personal risks to prevent crime.
- Neighborhood Watch members are not obligated to participate in patrols.
- Neighborhood Watch leaves the responsibility for the apprehension of criminals where it belongs – with the local law enforcement agency.