||What is Neighborhood Watch?
You've heard the name "Neighborhood Watch" but do you know what the organization does or who is involved in it? Neighborhood Watch is an organization that was created to teach people how to protect themselves from crime and how to work in conjunction with the local Police Department. The goal of the program is crime prevention through community involvement, "Neighbor Helping Neighbor." The program provides the opportunity to meet your neighbors and Laurel Police Department personnel through Neighborhood Watch meetings.
Neighborhood Watch has been active in Laurel for many years. Neighborhood Watch is based on the theory that if you know your neighbors and they know you, you can keep the Police alerted to suspicious activity. What Neighborhood Watch wants from you is your involvement. Hosting a Neighborhood Watch meeting in your home is simple. All it takes is arranging a date and handing out flyers in your immediate area notifying your neighbors of the meeting. A Police Officer will speak on the specific concerns in your neighborhood. This will help make your neighborhood feel more like a community than just the place where you live.
How does Neighborhood Watch work?
You and your neighbors keep an eye on your neighborhood. If you observe a crime or suspicious activity in your neighborhood, immediately report what you have observed to the police. Police respond to your call and investigate or apprehend the criminal.
Neighborhood Watch is a national program which unites law enforcement agencies, local organizations and individual citizens in a community-wide effort to reduce residential crime. Thousands of these programs have been developed around the county and is a remarkably successful anti-crime effort--neighbor looking out for neighbor.
How do I get started?
Contact as many of your neighbors as possible and ask them if they would be willing to meet to organize a Neighborhood Watch group. Contact the Laurel Police Department at 301-498-0092 for help in training members on home security and reporting skills, and for information on local crime patterns. Select a Neighborhood Watch block captain who is responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to members.
Put up highly visible Neighborhood Watch signs and decals. These alert criminals that community members will watch and report their activities. You can also become a part of the Police Department's Citizens Volunteer Patrol Program.
Things to Watch For...
* Screaming or shouting for help
* Someone looking into windows of houses or parked cars
* Unusual noises
* Property being taken out of houses or building where no one is at home, or the business is closed
* Vehicles moving slowly with no lights or no apparent destination
* Someone being forced into a vehicle
* A Stranger running through the neighborhood
Don't invetigate these problems on your own! Report these incidents to the Police Department and alert your neighbors of the incident.
Police Non-Emergency: 301-498-0092
Police Emergency: 301-725-3000
The National Crime Prevention Council On-Line Resource Center, offers many useful crime prevention tips for self, home, and family; community policing; neighborhood building; plus information on McGruff the Crime Dog and his nephew, Scriff. Find out how you can help --
Take A Bite Out Of Crime!
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