Why Neighborhood Watch?
It works. Throughout the country, dramatic decreases in burglary and related offenses
are reported by law enforcement professionals in communities with active Neighborhood Watch programs.
Today's transient society produces communities that are less personal. Many families have two working parents and children involved in many activities that keep them away from home. An empty house in a neighborhood where none of the neighbors know the owner is a prime target for burglary.
Neighborhood Watch also helps build pride and serves as a springboard for efforts that
address other community concerns such as recreation for youth, child care, and affordable housing.
How does a neighborhood watch start?
A motivated individual, a few concerned residents, a community organization, or a law enforcement agency can spearhead the efforts to establish a Watch. Together they:
- Organize a small planning committee of neighbors to discuss needs, the level of interest, and possible community problems.
- Contact Tigard Police for help in training members in home security, reporting skills and for information on local crime patterns.
- Hold an initial meeting to gauge neighbors interest; establish the purpose of the program; and begin to identify issues that need to be addressed.
- Select a coordinator.
- Ask for block captain volunteers who are responsible for relaying information to members.
- Recruit members, keeping up-to-date information on new residents and making special efforts to involve the elderly, working parents and young people.
- Work with police to put up Neighborhood Watch signs, usually after at least 50 percent of all households are enrolled.
Who can be involved?
Any community resident can join young and old, single and married, renter and homeowner. Even the busiest of people can belong to a Neighborhood Watch—they
too can keep an eye out for neighbors as they come and go.
I live in an apartment building. Can I start a neighborhood watch?
Yes, Watch Groups can be formed around any geographical unit: a block, apartment building or townhouse complex.
What does a neighborhood watch do?
A Neighborhood Watch is neighbors helping neighbors. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors. Members meet their neighbors, learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report activities that raise their suspicions to the police.
What are the major components of a watch program?
- Meetings. As often as needed to maintain a cohesive and functioning program. This will vary in each neighborhood.
- Communications. The City of Tigard Neighborhood Network Program can keep everyone connected via the intenet. Learn more about this program.
- Special events. These are crucial to keep the program going and growing. Host talks or seminars that focus on current issues such as "hate" or bias motivated violence, crime in schools, teenage alcohol and other drug abuse, or domestic violence. Sponsor a block party, holiday dinner, or volleyball or softball game which will provide neighbors a chance to get to know each other.
What are my responsibilities as a Watch Member?
- Be alert!
- Know your neighbors and watch out for each other.
- Report suspicious activities and crimes to the police.
- Learn how you can make yourself and your community safer.
What kind of activities should I be on the lookout for as a Watch Member?
- Someone screaming or shouting for help.
- Someone looking in windows of houses and parked cars.
- Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or from closed businesses.
- Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination or without lights.
- Anyone being forced into a vehicle. A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child.
- Report these incidents to the police. Talk about concerns and problems with your neighbors.
How should I report incidents?
- Call 9-1-1 or the non-emergency police dispatch number at 503-629-0111.
- Give your name and address.
- Explain what happened.
- Briefly describe the suspect: sex and race, age, height, weight, hair color, clothing, distinctive characteristics such as beard mustache, scars, or accent.
- Describe the vehicle if one was involved: color, make, model, year, license plate, and special features such as stickers.