Neighborhood Watch is one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear in neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Watch is the cornerstone of SBPD’s crime prevention strategy because it enlists the active participation of residents in cooperation with law enforcement.
The program calls upon residents to step forward and assist the police in organizing the community into a cohesive unit working toward the goal of building a safer, crime-free neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch groups discuss neighborhood crime problems with the objective of developing solutions to local problems. South Bend Police Officers supply crime information to neighborhood watch organizations and instruct these groups in various crime prevention techniques.
The continuity and success of the Neighborhood Watch program hinges on the person referred to as the Block Captain. The "Block Captain" is a community member who acts as a liaison between those who work and/or live in a particular area, and the officers assigned to that area. Through the Block Captain and neighborhood meetings, officers share crime prevention tips and information.
Residents can form a Watch group around any geographic unit: a block, apartment, park, business area, office, or neighborhood. Several concerned residents, a community organization, or a law enforcement agency can spearhead the effort to organize. Most importantly, any community residents can join a Neighborhood Watch.
When a group decides to form a Neighborhood Watch, it:
It is important to keep all Neighborhood Watch Groups as active as possible. Below are some tips to keep a Neighborhood Watch group a vital force for community well-being.
To find out if you have a Neighborhood Watch Block Captain in your area, or for more information about the program, contact the South Bend Police Department at (574) 235-9037.