For those of us who have lived here for any length of time we can not help but to be concerned about crime in our neighborhood. The Haddonfield Civic Association has been studying Neighborhood Watch now for a number of months and tonight brings us to a presentation of the summary of that knowledge so that you can here first hand how Neighborhood Watch could work for us if enacted.We hope this evening causes you to think about the benefits of bringing Neighborhood Watch to Haddonfield. How it would work, and what role you and your fellow borough residents would play.Welcome to the Haddonfield Civic Associations Town Hall on Neighborhood Watch.
A Neighborhood Watch program is a group of people living in the same area who want to make their neighborhood safer by working together and in conjunction with local law enforcement to reduce crime and improve their quality of life. Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and best known crime prevention concepts in North America. In the late 1960’s, an increase in crime heightened the need for a crime prevention initiative focused on residential areas and involving local citizens.The National Sheriffs’ Association responded, creating the National Neighborhood Watch program in 1972, to assist citizens and law enforcement. In 2002 the National Sheriffs’ Association in conjunction with the US Department of Justice launched the USAonWatch.org, the face of the Neighborhood Watch initiative. Interestingly some years ago our own Police Department aligned themselves with this organization. We believe this organization mostly stands for the methods in Watch is delivered and have modeled our program similarly. Not long ago we formed our own Watch under the name of the Haddonfield Civic Association.
READ EACH POINT
READ EACH POINT
The National Sheriffs’ Association has been committed to the safety and security of America’s communities for nearly 70 years. The National Sheriff’s Association took crime prevention concepts a step further by making a national initiative – the National Neighborhood Watch Program. The program was developed in response to a multitude of requests from sheriffs’ and police chiefs from across the country.Law enforcement leaders were looking for a crime prevention program to incorporate citizen involvement, and address the increasing number of burglaries taking place, especially in rural and suburban areas.Funding was sought and obtained from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and the US Department of Justice, and thus, the National Neighborhood Watch Program was born.The first two years of the program were devoted to disseminating information on the nature and volume of burglary, and providing information on how to secure residential property and make it less vulnerable to break-ins. From there it evolved to promoting the establishment of ongoing local neighborhood watch groups where citizens could work in conjunction with their law enforcement agencies in an effort to reduce neighborhood crime. The creation of “Boris the Burglar” arose as the symbol of crime prevention in neighborhoods.
After the National Sheriffs’ Association kicked off the National Neighborhood Watch program, it was left to local law enforcement agencies to create local groups.Depending on the needs of the local communities, as well as the desire of the Sheriff or Police Chief, Watch groups were started with different names and logos.However , the concept of crime prevention through citizen involvement remained constant. Today the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Department of Justice recognize that although a group might be called “crime watch,” “block watch,” or simply use the name of the homeowners association, it is still “neighborhood watch.”
There are obvious benefits Neighborhood Watch volunteers and their communities have experienced throughout the years such as:READ EACH ONE
Any national initiative or program requires contributions at multiple levels, from the federal government to sheriffs’ and police to individual citizens. The National Sheriffs’ Association is working with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, and the US Department of Justice to form new Neighborhood Watch groups and revitalize existing groups. In order to reach the citizens, local law enforcement agencies have been given a charge to involve the people in their community. Anyone can be involved in a Neighborhood Watch group.National-Level Partners – The Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice work together with the national Sheriffs’ Association to provide administrative and financial support to the Neighborhood Watch program.State and Local Law Enforcement – Local law enforcement agencies are charged to reach out to their communities to from local partnerships that will assist in the development of new Neighborhood Watch programs and enhance existing programs.Law Enforcement Liaison – A law enforcement liaison is the law enforcement officer specifically assigned the responsibility of supporting local Neighborhood Watch. The liaison will guide Neighborhood Watch leaders to make decisions that will be best for their group.Community Members – Neighborhood Watch members have several responsibilities. One of the most important is to remain active. An active member will help create and maintain a level of excitement about the program.
Today we formally begin the conversation with our neighbors to gauge interest in launching a Neighborhood Watch. There are well documented best practices with respect to forming a Watch, however, there is no one right way to assemble our program. Using this meeting as a launching pad we need to turn our attention to socializing the concept with our friends and neighbors and establishing a program that is best for us. At some point soon we will get to a spot where we have a program we can support. Whatever we do, let’s do it well. Whether it’s the entire borough participating, or just your block, we can develop a program that can be executed on and meets our needs.For some time discussions have been going on with our Police and the Commissioner. I’d like to say they could not be more supportive and I am certain will remain so as we develop our program. Commissioner, Chief, Lieutenant, I can’t thank you enough for your time, interest, and commitment to the Borough’s residence. Thank you for your fine efforts.This initiative may take time to build steam. Let’s not be discouraged if initially there is limited response. If building our program one block at a time is the correct approach for us, I suspect others will follow as the program grows and reports success.
Step 1 - We need to talk to fellow neighbors about their concerns regarding crime and safety. Discuss and create awareness among the neighbors about a particular issue affecting the neighborhood. Residents might want to start to collect data to gain a better understanding of the issues. We need folks to be aware of the issues and determine if we’re willing to do something about it.Step 2 - This step, at least initially has already taken place. We will continue to work with our Police in order to learn how to build a partnership, create and sustain a Neighborhood Watch group, and resolve community issues.Step 3 – Today we are taking our first step in this process. From this meeting those willing to take action must step up, and others not here this evening need to be identified as willing participants. This program will not succeed without leadership and direction. Research indicates that all to often, new Watch groups do not have a defined mission or specific goals and find themselves with no clear guidance or direction. After this meeting an initial assessment will happen to determine if enough interest has been demonstrated or could be demonstrated with additional effort. Assuming that’s the case an Advisory Board will be formed to develop our action plan.Step 4 – Once interest has been determined , goals and objectives established, with a leadership team willing to implement the program we’ll begin the process of meeting.Step 5 – The development of the program has been established by those that have come before us. Phone tree’s, and a series of concrete steps are a well established part of Watch. The specific actions our Watch will take will be a function of our Watch’s goals and objectives.
There is no single right way to form a NW group. No matter how our NW is set up, the organizational structure must take into account the needs of the community and law enforcement. A traditional NW group will include a law enforcement officer, an area coordinator, and watch members. One of the final steps in forming and organizing Neighborhood Watch is the designation of leadership. These individuals will be responsible for the planning and coordinating activities. Watch leaders may be formal leaders elected by their peers or informal leaders who are simply the first to volunteer!Briefly some of the aspects of the organization:The Law Enforcement Liaison – Lieutenant Ed Wiley has been assigned this role by the Chief. ED CAN SAY A FEW WORDS HERE.The Block Captain – Block Captains act as liaison between block residents and the coordinator. They help assist in creation of phone trees, and encourage participation.The Neighborhood Watch Coordinator – is responsible for the overall development and maintance of the program. Acting as liaison to Watch members, block captains, Police, and other stakeholders. I assume that’s me – for now!Citizens Advisory Board - depending on the size of the program this group would act in an oversight role .Neighborhood Watch Members - the heart of the organization are those that take active interest and participate in the program even at modest levels. If we see a need we all ought to be Neighborhood Watch members.Phone Trees – Phone trees are a great way to share information and build a sense of community in the neighborhood.Neighborhood Maps – A Neighborhood Map is a powerful tool on a simple sheet of paper. A map can give residents information on where everyone in the neighborhood lives and also put landmarks and distance from house to house into perspective. The map will familiarize NW members with families living in the neighborhood as well as address any potential dangers during an emergency.
Today’s meeting was positioned as a way to introduce Neighborhood Watch to our community, and to explore the possibility of launching our own program.Our intention is to gauge interest from this evening and continue to socialize the concept till enough folks are aware of the program to make an intelligent decision about going forward or to simply stop pursuit of this campaign.Whether we form the Citizen Advisory Board or simply continue to organize, we need to find a program that can work for us, and one that our residents will support.If we can do that, our next step is to officially launch the Haddonfield Neighborhood Watch.
The following slides are some of the commonly used tools in the development of the Neighborhood Watch program.
As I mentioned previously “Boris the Burglar” is the symbol the National Sheriffs’ Association uses to identify Neighborhood Watch.This sign is one of a number of types of signs we could presumably use through-out the Borough.
Shown here is an example of a completed map. For each home, the color, street number, family name, home and work phone numbers are listed plus the street names and compass directions are indicated. Homes that are “Vacant” and “Not Participating” should be shown.
This is the Neighborhood Watch Telephone Tree. This list is used every time you call 911 to alert neighbors to a problem they also should be aware of.This is set up by having willing participants put their names and numbers in the available spaces. Each household gets a copy of the completed form to keep in a safe but accessible space.A phone tree is used for quick communication with all your neighbors. Every household is assigned a few names/numbers to call and a short message which needs to be passed on. When someone in the block has information to be passed on, they call the name on the top of the list. That person in turn calls the Participants listed directly below them and passes the message on.
This is the Inventory of Household items engraved with drivers license number. Items that are frequently stolen because they can easily be sold to a fence, at a swap meet or pawn shop.
This form is the Family Data Summary Sheet. It’s a summary of individual family data sheets.
Haddonfield Civic Association Sponsors – Town Hall On Neighborhood Watch
Welcome from the HCA“We in America do not have government by the majority. Wehave government by the majority who participate.”Thomas Jefferson• First topical town meeting in 1966 – Traffic Safety• Candidate debates – April 2013 for Commissioner Race• Bradshaw Civic Awareness Contest since 1931• Videotaping key meetings since 2009Please consider becoming a member, visit:http://www.haddonfieldcivic.com
What Is Neighborhood Watch?• Oldest and best known crime prevention concepts• In late 60’s an increase in crime heightened the need for a crime prevention initiative focused on residential areas and involving citizens• The National Sheriffs’ Association created the national Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972• This program is modeled similarly
Neighborhood Watch IS...• A Crime Prevention Program• Where neighbors “LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER”• That encourages Neighbor-Participants to get to know each other and their routines so that any out of place activity can be observed, recognized for what it is, reported and investigated• That teaches Participants techniques to reduce the risk of being victimized at home, in their vehicles and in public places• Which trains Participants on the importance of recognizing suspicious activities and sounds, evaluate them and then how to properly report them• Which teaches Participants how to make their homes more secure, to properly identify their property, and how to “LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER”• A cohesive body of concerned, involved, Neighbor-Participants addressing many issues that concern the entire community
Neighborhood Watch IS NOT...• A vigilante force working outside the normal procedures of the local police department• A 100% guarantee that crime will not occur in your neighborhood• A program designed for Participants to undertake personal risks to deter crime
Program History• Program developed because of requests from Police across the country• Law enforcement leaders were looking for a crime prevention program that incorporated citizen involvement• Funding sought to launch the initiative from the Dept. of Justice• Evolved to promoting local neighborhood watch programs in conjunction with law enforcement
Many Names, One Concept• After launch by the Sheriffs’ Association left to local law enforcement agencies to create local groups• Many were started with different names and logos• However , the concept of crime prevention through citizen involvement remained constant
Benefits Of Neighborhood Watch• Crime prevention• A greater sense of security, responsibility, and personal control• Build community pride• Preparing for helping ourselves and others• Provide law enforcement with volunteers support year round• Citizens become the extra “eyes and ears”
Who Is Involved In Neighborhood Watch• National-Level Partners• State and Local Law Enforcement• Law Enforcement Liaison• Community Members
Starting A Neighborhood Watch• Begin to talk to your neighbors to gauge interest• Contact the local law enforcement agency• Don’t be discouraged by low attendance or lack of interest
Five Steps To Building A SuccessfulNeighborhood Watch• Step 1 – Recruit and organize as many neighbors as possible• Step 2 – Contact your local law enforcement agency and schedule a meeting• Step 3 – Discuss community concerns and develop an action plan• Step 4 – Hold regular meetings and train on relevant skills• Step 5 – Implement a phone tree and take action steps
Organizing Your Neighborhood Watch• The Law Enforcement Liaison• The Block Captain• The Neighborhood Watch Coordinator• Citizens’ Advisory Board• Neighborhood Watch Members• Phone Trees• Neighborhood Maps
Next Steps In Forming The HaddonfieldNeighborhood Watch• Gauge interest from this evening• Continue to socialize the concept• Form the Citizen Advisory Board• Develop a program that aligns with our collective interests and ability to execute• Officially launch the Haddonfield Neighborhood Watch
Haddonfield Police• Chief J. Banning• Department Liaison: Lt. Ed Wiley (856) 429-4700 ext. 250
Haddonfield Police Department • Wants residents to watch out for each other and their neighborhood. • Participants should be vigilant observers during their normal routines. • We want residents to immediately report anything suspicious. • Residents can be effective deterrents by being visible. • Be familiar with what is “normal” and report anything that is not. • If a matter is urgent, if a crime is occurring, or an emergency, call 911. If something does not “look right”, or not an emergency call 429-3000.
Who, What, When, Where, How and Why To Report:• Report anything/anyone you believe to be suspicious.• Be prepared to report why it is suspicious and describe in detail.• Report immediately.• Call 911 if urgent, call (856) 429-3000 if not urgent.• Always have your cell phone available .• When in doubt, call the police so they can investigate further.
Information is Key• Provide detailed description of people, vehicles and property. If you are not sure of the address, provide directions so the responding officers can get there as quickly as possible.• Use a phonetic alphabet when providing vehicle license plate information.
What You Should Not Do• DO NOT CONFRONT OR APPROACH SUSPICIOUS CHARACTERS -save that for police.• We do not recommend walking around shinning a flashlight into yards, cars or buildings.• We do not recommend carrying binoculars.• Carry a cell phone and don’t be afraid to use it.
Benefits to CommunityGetting the use of more resources at no cost isan opportunity we welcome. Assistance fromthe community is like having extra eyes andears. We anticipate that increasingcommunity participation and awareness willdecrease opportunities for crime andincrease detection and apprehensionof offenders.
Future MeetingsAs Liaison for the program, I look forward toexchanges of information that will mutuallybenefit the community and the policedepartment.