Do you live (or wish to live) in Wantagh, NY? Are you wondering what the benefit is of a neighborhood watch?
A neighborhood watch involves more than just citizens patrolling the neighborhood. It’s about a partnership between citizens and law enforcement that promotes crime prevention and safety in your neighborhood.
What are the benefits of a local watch group? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Neighborhood Watch?
Neighborhood watch groups empower ordinary citizens to fight crime and get ready for emergencies. In some neighborhood watch groups, citizens patrol neighborhoods for suspicious activity. In others, folks may conduct home security surveys or hand out crime prevention information.
Neighborhood watch organizations could also organize clean-ups of local areas. They may help the homeless find shelter.
The groups work closely with local law enforcement to find ways they can help and be proactive in their neighborhoods. The groups meet regularly to spell out security goals and assign members to various operations.
Volunteers in neighborhood watch programs act as eyes and ears that alert local police to any suspicious behavior. They may also post signs around the neighborhood that alert would-be criminals to their presence.
1. Crime Prevention
One of the obvious benefits of a neighborhood watch program is crime prevention. A group can meet with local police offers to get educated on the types of suspicious activity to look out for in their area. They can also decide on important plans of action.
Folks can get to know their neighbor’s schedules and keep an eye on their properties while they’re away. In neighborhoods where daytime crime is a problem while people are at work, a neighborhood watch can give you the peace of mind of knowing that someone is looking out for your home.
A neighborhood group can also educate other citizens on suspicious activities to look out for. Together, you can stop crime problems before they start.
2. Emergency Preparedness
Some neighborhood watch groups can help citizens get ready for emergencies by implementing emergency notification systems. Others prepare emergency kits for citizens. These could include blankets, flashlights, and first-aid items that can get distributed to the community, and especially to those most in need.
A group may identify homes with senior citizens or individuals with special needs who would need the most help in case of an emergency. These could include hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods.
Neighborhood watch groups may design an evacuation plan or designate a shelter in case of a natural emergency. They can also prepare a chain notification system with texts or emails that will help everyone make those who need help are safe if there is a disaster.
It’s often the job of a neighborhood watch group to educate other citizens about the procedures in case there is a real problem. They can distribute evacuation maps and post them on government websites so folks will know exactly how to leave the area.
3. Learn Safety Tips
Citizens in your neighborhood may appreciate the local neighborhood watch hosting a class on CPR. They may also have greater peace of mind knowing that someone on their block can administer it in case of an emergency.
A particular group may also give self-defense classes or teach citizens how to respond to break-ins. It’s also possible for them to help citizens theft-proof their homes.
Besides investing in alarm systems, they can be taught how to make their homes look occupied, lock their doors, and dead-bolt their locks. Folks can learn to keep electronics out of easy view from windows and build proper fences.
With well-trained homes, a neighborhood will be less attractive to criminals. And this can keep the entire community happy!
4. Building a Sense of Community
It’s possible to live in the same neighborhood for years and not know anything about your neighbors. A neighborhood watch group can give you a chance to learn about their families, occupations, and hobbies. You can also talk about your goals and any common interests you have.
As you learn about your neighbors’ safety needs, you’ll find that you’re looking out for their best interests during the day. This is very beneficial for helping your village become more of a community that works together to promote health and safety.
Neighborhoods like Wantagh are known for their parks, beaches, and excellent schools. It also has easy access to New York City and a close community that many have called home since childhood. Recently, the neighborhood watch has played a critical role in keeping the community close and safe.
5. Working With Local Law Enforcement
While many of us know we can call local law enforcement in an emergency, it’s rare that citizens know much about their local precinct or how they’re helping them.
As you work with police to address any suspicious-looking problems in your neighborhood, they’ll get to know you as well. They can talk to you about reporting crimes and helping the rest of your neighborhood notice problems before they start.
Your local officers will come to know you as an engaged, responsible citizen. And these types of relationships can help the entire neighborhood to feel more like a family!
A neighborhood watch can do so much more than notice petty theft. They can help train citizens for emergencies and protect the most vulnerable members of your community. A smart neighborhood watch group can become a source of security for the entire village.