Aidan Cassidy is a veteran of the law enforcement field who still remains an active member of his community. He explains that neighbors are an integral part of protecting and preserving the area in which they live. When neighbors look out for one another and remain vigilant about what is happening in their own community, it makes it easier to keep that neighborhood a safe and pleasant place to live.
A neighborhood watch program is an effective way to help preserve an area and ensure that adults and kids alike can enjoy a comfortable place to call home. When it comes to starting a neighborhood watch program, the first step is getting to know the residents of the area. It is no secret that neighbors who know one another and care for one another are going to be more invested in ensuring that other community members are safe.
With so many commitments and tasks to attend to, Aidan Cassidy says that it is easy to go years without interacting with a neighbor. However, community members should make it a point to develop real connections with those living around them. This way, if something appears amiss in the neighborhood, they can simply pick up the phone and call to ensure that everything is alright. This is a highly effective way of stopping crime, and can actually deter criminals before they ever have the chance to strike.
Even small details like learning the cars people drive, knowing the names of their children, and identifying their work habits can help to make the community a safer place to live. For example, if the Smiths have two black cars and typically work until 7 every night, spotting a red car at 5 p.m. might cause a neighbor to want to verify that this person is supposed to be at the home. There is no need for residents to be completely involved in others’ lives, but a sense of awareness and vigilance is a must in order to keep a community safe.
Create a directory
In order to allow neighbors to look out for another, Aidan Cassidy explains that they must know how to get in touch with each other. To make this easy, create a directory that lists the family’s name, all members who reside in that home, and a phone number to reach them. Distribute this directory throughout the neighborhood.
Aidan Cassidy explains that the local police department can serve as a valuable resource for neighbors who are looking to protect their community. Once the neighborhood watch group has been formed, schedule a visit to the local police department. There, law enforcement professionals can provide helpful tips and guidance about keeping that neighborhood safe. They can also offer suggestions in order to ensure that the neighborhood watch program thrives.
Some police departments will distribute neighborhood watch signs that the group can post in the community. They may also offer educational materials or opportunities to meet with other neighborhood watch groups. These resources can be valuable in helping to protect that community.
It is important to post any community watch signs immediately, as these materials can often deter criminals from striking. When they become aware that the individuals in this neighborhood are highly vigilant, it is less likely that they will want to target homes in this area.
Hold regular meetings
Part of the success of a community watch group is dependent on the regularity of meetings, states Aidan Cassidy. Neighbors must convene regularly in order to discuss any potential suspicious activity or issues that they would like to voice. When regular communication occurs, it makes it much easier for the group to work cohesively to protect the neighborhood.
Report suspicious activity
The whole point of this group is to ensure that any suspicious activity is reported right away. Therefore, the members of the neighborhood watch group must actually act on this. Never try to make excuses for strange behavior. If something seems off, it probably is. Plus, it is always better to report the incident and find out that it is nothing than miss a chance to stop a crime in action.
Ensure that all community members know how to proceed in the event that they see something suspicious, advises Aidan Cassidy. There should be procedures in place so that the person knows how to react, even if they feel nervous or alarmed by what they are seeing. They should know the people to contact at the police department, and they should know how to get in touch with the neighbor who may be in trouble.
Getting everyone on board with the community watch program is essential to its success. If half of the neighborhood is monitoring the activity in that community and the other half chooses to turn a blind eye to potentially suspicious occurrences, the overall success of the program will be limited. However, when all parties are invested in their neighborhood and want to keep it a safe place, Aidan Cassidy notes that it is more likely that the program will work and that crime will be kept to a minimum.