Neighborhood Watch Program
About the Program
The Chisago County Sheriff's Office Neighborhood Watch Program works in proactive partnerships with law abiding citizens, law enforcement, and governing agencies to address issues of crime and the fear of crime in order to achieve the goal of maintaining the exclusivity and integrity of our community while improving and enhancing the quality of life for all residents.
Take A Stand Against Crime: Join A Neighborhood Watch
Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, Town Watch, Building Watch, Crime Watch - whatever the name, it's one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear. Neighborhood Watch fights the isolation that crime both creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce criminal activity, and improves relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Why Neighborhood Watch?
It works. Throughout the country, dramatic decreases in crime and suspicious activity are reported by law enforcement professionals in communities with active watch programs.
Today's transient society produces communities that are less personal. Many families have two working parents and children involved in many activities that keep them away from home. An empty house in a neighborhood where none of the neighbors know the owner is a prime target for criminal activity.
Neighborhood Watch also helps build pride and serves as a springboard for efforts that address other community concerns such as recreation for youth, childcare, and affordable housing.
How Does Neighborhood Watch Start?
A motivated individual, a few concerned residents, a community organization, or a law enforcement agency can spearhead the efforts to establish a Neighborhood Watch. Together they can:
- Organize a small planning committee of neighbors to discuss needs, the level of interest, and possible community problems.
- Contact the Chisago County Sheriff's Office for help in training members in home security, reporting skills, and information on local crime patterns.
- Hold an initial meeting to gauge neighbors' interest, establish the purpose of the program, and begin to identify issues that need to be addressed.
- Select a Neighborhood Watch Captain who is responsible for relaying information to members.
Who Can Be Involved?
Any community resident can join - young and old, single and married, renter and homeowner. Even the busiest of people can belong to a Neighborhood Watch - they too can keep an eye out for neighbors as they come and go.
hat Does A Neighborhood Watch Do?
A Neighborhood Watch is neighbors helping neighbors. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors. Members meet their neighbors, learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report activity that raises their suspicions to law enforcement.
What Are The Major Components Of A Neighborhood Watch Program?
Communication: These can be as simple as a weekly email to a monthly newsletter that updates neighbors on the progress of the program. Maintain regular contact with the Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit and Crime Analyst.
These are crucial to keep the program growing. Host talks or seminars that focus on current issues, crime in schools, teenage alcohol and other drug abuse, or domestic violence. Adopt and/or monitor a park or school playground and keep it a safe environment. Sponsor a block party, holiday dinner, or kickball game that will provide neighbors a chance to get to know each other.
What Are My Responsibilities As A Neighborhood Watch Member?
- Be alert!
- Know your neighbors and watch out for each other.
- Report crime and suspicious activity to the Sheriff's Office.
- Learn how you can make yourself and your community safer.
What Activity Should I Be On The Lookout For As A Neighborhood Watch Member?
If you see any of these activities, report them immediately to the Sheriff's Office:
- Someone screaming or shouting for help.
- Someone looking in windows of houses and parked cards.
- Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or from closed businesses.
- Cars,vans, or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination or without lights.
- Anyone being forced into a vehicle.
- A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child.
How Should I Report These Incidents?
- Call 911 for an emergency or 651-257-4100 for a non-emergency.
- Give your name and address.
- Explain what happened.
- Briefly describe the suspect: gender and race, age, height, weight, hair color, clothing, and distinctive characteristics such as a beard, mustache, scars or an accent.
- Describe the vehicle if one was involved: license plate, color, make model, year, and special features such as stickers.