Read the Spring 2012 Neighborhood Watch Newsletter
The Neighborhood Watch Program is a program that enables the police and the community to work together to make specific geographical areas more crime-resistant. It is a neighborhood and community-based effort, designed to help citizens and the police in preventing primarily residential burglary and other neighborhood-related crimes. In harmony with the philosophy of Community Policing, Neighborhood Watch encourages strong working relationships between the police and the citizens.
Neighborhood Watch programs are known to instill a greater sense of security and well-being. They can also reduce the fear of crime in the community as well as create a greater "sense of community" and put the "neighbor" back into "neighborhood." Neighborhood Watch also brings law enforcement and the community together as a team to help reduce crime opportunities.
Neighborhood Watch is a program that: 1) Teaches citizens how to reduce the risk of victimization at home and away; 2) Trains citizens on the importance of recognizing suspicious activities and how to report them; 3) Teaches residents how to make their homes more secure; 4) Allows neighbors to get to know each other so that any out-of-place activity can be reported promptly; and 5) Creates a cohesive body of concerned citizens that can address other issues that concern the entire community.
While a Neighborhood Watch program is normally thought of as being most effective in high-crime areas, it can also be used as a vehicle to enhance a neighborhood that is not experiencing problems.
All that is needed to start a Neighborhood Watch group is a person who is willing to act as a "captain." This person (with the help of the police department) would distribute invitations to the homes in a designated area and assist in hosting a Neighborhood Watch meeting. At the meeting, a representative from the police department would address the group regarding issues such as suspicious situations, when/how to call the police, and residential security. If a sufficient number of homes are represented, Neighborhood Watch signs are installed in the neighborhood.
Anyone interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group should call the Vernon Hills Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at (847) 247-4889 or via e-mail.