A Neighborhood Crime Watch is simply a group of concerned neighbors coming together to keep their community free of crime. The emphasis of a neighborhood watch is on detecting and reporting suspicious activity which may lead to crime. By learning more about topics such as how crime occurs, residential security, and personal safety, residents are better able to take necessary steps aimed at preventing crimes before they occur.
Isn't that what the police are for?
The Gainesville Police Department enjoys an excellent reputation for responding to the needs of the community. However, there are simply not enough police officers to be everywhere all of the time. The Police Department responds to hundreds of calls for service each day, ranging from bike theft to bank robbery. Officers depend upon information provided by community members to ensure the most effective use of their time and resources. A Neighborhood Crime Watch acts as the eyes and ears of the Police Department by detecting potential crime risks and promptly reporting them. Communities with active Neighborhood Crime Watch groups often enjoy reductions in crime.
How do we start a Neighborhood Crime Watch?
- Generate interest by talking to your neighbors.
- Plan your first meeting.
- Contact the Gainesville Police Department's Crime Prevention Officers at (352) 393-7750 to schedule a speaker.
- Choose a suitable location for the meeting. (A neighbor's home, or a local school, or church are the most common sites.)
- Send out meeting notifications.
- Conduct the first meeting.
- Follow-up with future meetings.