October 08, 2014


Sacramento Police Department

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Neighborhood Watch

General Information

Neighborhood Watch is a crime prevention program designed for Sacramento's residential community. There are over 360 active Neighborhood Watch Groups in the City of Sacramento. The program is operated by neighbors and is sponsored by the Sacramento Police Department. The object of the Neighborhood Watch Program is to organize groups of neighbors and teach them the necessary steps to reduce the opportunity to crime. Schedule of Upcoming Neighborhood Watch Training Sessions
Neighborhood Safety Newsletter Archive Find lots of helpful safety tips in our monthly newsletter.
Neighborhood Watch is not any of the following:
  • a vigilante force working outside the normal procedures of the local police department
  • a 100% guarantee that crime will not occur in your neighborhood
  • a program designed for participants to undertake personal risks to deter crime
There are three elements necessary for a crime to occur:
  1. Opportunity: You have created a situation for a burglar or attacker to choose your residence or person. By this we mean that you have left a garage door open; a window ajar; inadequate lighting around your house that creates concealment, etc. This is the ONLY aspect Neighborhood Watch can control!
  2. Desire: The criminal desires to hit your property as you've set him up to do so! Desire is based on opportunity; and also the criminal's financial or drug need. (Neighborhood watch cannot affect this).
  3. Ability: The criminal has the ability to break in or burgle you as he or she sees the opportunity (neighborhood watch cannot affect this).
How Neighborhood Watch Works Neighborhood Watch is a group of neighbors who believe that fighting crime is every citizen's responsibility. Each person agrees that they are responsible for taking care of themselves and to remove any obstacles that could hinder their safety and well-being; as well as that of their neighbor.
When you start a neighborhood watch group, you will get to know your neighbors better.
In a short time, everyone will know the working habits of their neighbors - who has dogs, how many children in the family, what cars people own. You will also learn who in your neighborhood has valuable skills to contribute, such as CPR Training. When you know these things, it becomes easier to spot suspicious people and identify vehicles that are not normally in the neighborhood.
If everyone participates, Neighborhood Watch can reduce crime and make the neighborhood a safer place to live. Schedule of Upcoming Neighborhood Watch Training Sessions.
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Making Neighborhood Watch Effective

Neighborhood Watch will be as effective as you and your neighbors choose to make it. If you apply some effort into maintaining one, your Neighborhood Watch can be an effective deterrent to criminal activity in your area. The Neighborhood Watch signs that should be purchased and posted throughout your neighborhood will also act as a deterrent. These signs will mean a lot if your group stays active and involved! Along with the signs the Sacramento Police Department will provide, free of cost, Neighborhood Watch window decals and a Participants Handbook for each household.
Family Data Sheet
The family data sheets (see pg. 24 of the NNWI Participants Handbook) should list everyone's name, address, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and other important information about the neighbors. These lists MUST be kept confidential. Only the Neighborhood watch participants should have the information. Remember, you are building this group on trust and caring, and should have each other's welfare in mind.
Something to keep in mind is every day we write checks to total strangers and give them access to our personal lives. We are giving them our drivers license number, address, phone number, ect. And yet, we know nothing about these people - who they are, what they can do with this information, ect. So if your neighbors are hesitant to give you their phone number/car license plate/work number to someone they "know"...at least be willing to give the information to the block captain so they can be contacted in an emergency.
Participants Responsibility
  • Learn your neighbor's names and contact numbers (cell, work, home). Be able to recognize them and their vehicles without any hesitation.
  • Attend all the Neighborhood Watch meetings.
  • Keep a copy of all your Neighborhood Watch information in an easily accessible, secure place and continually update it with an new information provided by your Block Captain.
  • Properly identify all property using the Operation ID guidelines. (see pg. 28 of the NNWI Participants Handbook)
  • Implement all security measures suggested by your local police department.
  • Learn the techniques of getting an accurate description of a suspect or a vehicle. Practice describing people and vehicles.
  • Keep an eye on your neighbor's homes and report any suspicious activities to the police department.
  • Post neighborhood watch window stickers and signs.
  • When you plan to leave for any length of time, arrange to have your mail and newspapers picked up. Do not put a hold on your mail or newspaper...that only lets people know you will be gone for a certain time period! Timers should be activated for your lights.
  • If you are leaving home for an extended period of time, notify your neighbors and the block captain you are going away so added attention can be placed on your home.
  • Get Involved! Look out for each other! Be a good witness with written notes. Participate in your neighborhood Watch Program and neighborhood association.
By participating in this program, you help the police help you recover any items that may be taken in a burglary; but more so, you may be preventing a burglary.
Use your California Driver's License Number or California ID Card Number as the number. DO NOT USE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER!! Law enforcement agencies do not have access to the information of the Federal Social Security Administration. Engrave the number on your property and then either DL or ID at the end. You can borrow an engraver from almost any city library. This is a great way to encompass all participants marking as one can "borrow" and the rest can use during the week! Or, if you are so inclined, you can purchase one. While you are marking the items, fill out pg. 28 of your participants handbook. Then keep it in a secure place (safe, safety deposit box, ect.). Please do not send this to the police department.
Please help the Sacramento Police Department by joining together and forming a Neighborhood Watch. Your eyes and ears will help the police in their everyday fight against crime! Schedule of Upcoming Neighborhood Watch Training Sessions.
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Setting Up a Neighborhood Watch Group

  • Start out small and expand!
  • Poll your neighbors to find out what day of the week (Monday through Thursday) and time are the best for the majority. Do not pick an exact date!
  • After determining the best day and time, please contact the Sacramento Police Department Neighborhood Watch Coordinator at (916) 808-0813 to schedule an exact date that will work for everyone.
  • Make sure that the location you have chosen for the meeting will be able to accommodate everyone.
  • After the meeting date and time has been confirmed with the Coordinator, make up a flyer, call, or send out an e-mail to let all your neighbors know when and where the meeting will be.
  • Ask people to RSVP so you know how many to expect.
To set up a Neighborhood Watch group in your area, please contact (916) 808-0813. Click here to download Crime Prevention Tips Brochure.

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