What is Neighborhood Watch?
Our Neighborhood Watch program focuses on advising individual neighborhood groups on the best strategies designed to discourage, deter and prevent crimes, as well as building effective collaboration between the police and neighbors that leads to the apprehension of criminals. Property crimes such as burglary, auto theft, and identity theft are frequently discussed, however experts will also tailor presentations to fit individual neighborhood needs, including discussions on personal safety, crime-fighting technologies and effective neighborhood networking,
Our Neighborhood Watch program is community-driven, with facilitation being provided by Department staff and volunteers from our Volunteers-In-Policing-Program (V.I.P.S.). While police staff members will appear at presentations and provide insights, crime trends and expert advice, the Neighborhood Watch program is designed to be perpetually maintained as a cohesive working group of neighbors who look out for one another. A variety of favorable outcomes result from sustained engagement by Neighborhood Watch groups, such as a familiarity with the police officers that work in their area, and the posting of Neighborhood Watch signs declaring that the neighborhood is actively engaged in crime-fighting efforts. The basic principle behind our Neighborhood Watch program is bringing communities and police together to achieve the common goal of preventing crime.
How can I start a Neighborhood Watch program?
To request a kick-off Neighborhood Watch presentation from the Redwood City Police Department, call the Community Coordinating Activities Team at 650-780-7104. Prior to scheduling the first Neighborhood Watch Meeting, requesting community members must demonstrate that at least ten individual households will be represented at the initial meeting.
Neighborhood Watch meetings may be scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays evenings. Most meetings are held in a community member's home or at a neighborhood facility, such as a school or church. Arrangements to utilize meeting locations must be made by requesting community members. Food/refreshments are optional and may be provided by requesting community members.
What happens at these meetings?
Neighborhood Watch meetings allow community members and the officers that serve them to meet face-to-face to discuss and work to prevent or solve problems in your community.
Through this positive, pro-active program, you will learn facts about:
-How police officers are deployed and assigned in Redwood City
-Routine and extraordinary duties of officers and detectives
-Crime trends in your area
-How to react to suspicious or criminal activity
-How the 9-1-1 system works and how to work effectively with police dispatching staff
-Recommended security measures such as:
*Types of locks
*Alarms and video security systems
*Effective observation and reporting strategies
*Candid Question and Answer discussion
* Upon request, Neighborhood Watch meetings can be held in Spanish, or a Spanish language translator will be made available for Spanish-speaking attendees.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH sign posting
If 75%-100% of the households in your neighborhood are represented at two consecutive meetings, metal "NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH" signs will be installed in strategic areas of your neighborhood at the discretion of Department and City staff. For the purposes of this program and participation evaluation, "neighborhoods" are currently defined as those Neighborhood Associations and delineated by boundaries as listed on the Redwood City Webpage here.
Because some Neighborhood Associations are quite large and thereby difficult to coordinate the 75% minimum participation level required to receive Neighborhood Watch sign postings, Department staff will assess and consider requests to facilitate meetings and signposting for smaller groups within Neighborhood Associations.
*Once established, Neighborhood Watch groups MUST hold semi-annual or annual Neighborhood Watch meetings representing 75-100% percent of households to retain Neighborhood Watch signs in their neighborhood.
Crime rates in NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH communities can be greatly reduced through the simple, common sense measures you can learn by attending a Neighborhood Watch meeting.
For further questions contact Chris Rasmussen, Community Policing Officer at 650-780-7104. For more information on community policing go here.