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Tigard Police Department

Neighborhood Watch

Establish a Neighborhood Watch for a safer, more connected neighborhood!


Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program that aims to prevent crime and the fear of crime. Through the program, participants:

  • Get to know their neighbors,
  • Become more invested in what happens in their neighborhood,
  • Look out for one another,
  • Learn crime prevention strategies and
  • Communicate suspicious and criminal activity happening in the neighborhood to police and each other. 

Residents typically form Neighborhood Watches because of an increase in crime in their area. However, the most effective groups are ones where coordinator(s) get their neighbors together every year, invite new residents to participate and neighbors continue to communicate.   

Neighborhood Watches should be welcoming to all neighbors, allowing them to participate to the extent they feel comfortable. 

How does a neighborhood watch start?

If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch (NW): 

  1. Contact the Tigard Police to discuss the steps, training and the area you want to organize. A smaller area (1-2 blocks) typically allows neighbors to get to know each other and have visibility over their homes. The contact for the Tigard Police is listed on this webpage.
  2. Talk to your neighbors, determining interest levels, concerns about crime or livability issues and possible coodinators for the group. For larger NW areas, you may consider holding a planning meeting with prospective coordinators. One coordinator is recommended for 8-10 households that are participating. 
  3. Coordinate a date, time and location for a NW training with the Tigard Police. The training will include home and vehicle security, reporting crime, resources and crime trends. Relay any neighbors' concerns about crime, which will be incorporated in the training. 
  4. Invite neighbors to the training, ideally two weeks in advance. The coordinator will start with a round of introductions and Tigard Police will lead the remainder of the meeting. 
  5. Select coordinator(s) for the Watch. 
  6. Coordinators create a contact list or, ideally, a neighborhood map that includes names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. The list allows neighbors to be able to communicate criminal or suspicious activity happening in the neighborhood.  Update it yearly. 
  7. Recruit new residents.
  8. Work with police to put up Neighborhood Watch signs, which are appropriate if a significant number of households in the Watch area participate. 
  9. Hold at least one neighborhood gathering per year. 

Who can be involved?

Any community resident in the Watch area can join, regardless of whether they are a renter or homeowner. All neighbors should be welcomed.

Please keep in mind that a neighbor may not be interested in becoming a member, but may be open to attending a neighborhood gathering.  
    

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 are the major components of a watch program?

  1. Initial Training led by Tigard Police.
  2. Communications. Maintain an up-to-date contact list or neighborhood map and encourage neighbors to communicate any crime or suspicious activity in the area. 
  3. Neighborhood Gatherings. These are crucial to keep neighbors connected and the program going and growing. Sponsor a block or National Night Out party, holiday dinner or meeting focused on a topic of interest to your neighbors such as emergency preparedness. Build in time for neighbors to be able to connect and get to know each other, which may include ice breaker activities. Please consider that there may be neighbors who don't want to participate in the Watch who may be interested in attending a gathering. 
  4. Recruitment of new residents
  5. Neighborhood Watch Signs. 

What are my responsibilities as a Watch Member?

  • Get to know your neighbors and watch out for them.
  • Have a healthy vigilance over what's happening in your neighborhood. 
  • Report suspicious activities and crimes to the police. When you know your neighbors, you will be able to more readily identify suspicious activity.
    • When determining what is suspicious, please focus on activity and behaviors, not people. Please do not assume criminal behavior or ill-intent based on race or ethnicity. We want police services to be appropriately used in ways that are not harmful to community members. 
  • Communicate crime and other issues to members.
  • Help out your neighbors when they go on vacation, being extra vigilant over activities near their home.  
  • Employ crime prevention strategies such as locking your vehicle and removing valuables.  If you and your neighbors were to do this, car prowlers will go elsewhere, reducing the likelihood of crime in your neighborhood and increasing your peace of mind.  

What kind of activities should I be on the lookout for as a Watch Member?

Report the following incidents to the police:

  1. Someone screaming or shouting for help.
  2. Someone checking door handles on parked cars or looking in the windows of multiple cars.
  3. Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or from closed businesses. 
  4. Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination or without lights.
  5. Anyone being forced into a vehicle. A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child.
  6. A verbal argument that is escalating and you are concerned that it may lead to physical violence.

How should I report incidents?

  1. Call 9-1-1 or the non-emergency police dispatch number at 503-629-0111.
  2. Give your name and address.
  3. Explain what happened. 
  4. Briefly describe the suspect: sex and race, age, height, weight, hair color, clothing, distinctive characteristics such as beard, scars or tattoos.
  5. Describe the vehicle if one was involved: color, make, model, year, license plate and special features such as stickers.
  6. If the suspect left, what was their direction of travel? 
Neighborhood Watch
Contact Info
For more information, please contact Tigard's Community Engagement Program Coordinator Stefanie Kouremetis at 503-718-2814 during normal business hours. 
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