Neighborhood Watch has been a part of crime prevention since prevention programs first began nearly 25 years ago. Today this program has increased importance for our city. As Champlin grows rapidly, our population is getting spread out over a greater area. More and more people, new to the area, move in every month. The police are getting busier and crime potential is rising with the increasing development. Neighborhood Watch is a cooperative effort between the police and citizens to help prevent crimes from occurring. Its focus is at the neighborhood level. Instead of trying to prevent crime over the entire city all at once, we can concentrate our efforts in a smaller, much more manageable area; your neighborhood. By generating watch groups, we can effectively cover the entire city, making it a safer place for everyone. What Neighborhood Watch requires from each citizen is very minimal. Primarily, all we ask is that each person become more aware of their own neighborhood and call the police immediately with any suspicious activity they see. The neighborhood becomes the eyes and ears for the police department.
The Champlin Crime Prevention Officer helps teach residents how to better secure their homes, increase personal safety through prevention techniques and prevent thefts at home, work and in the community. Both police and the community get to know each other better through Neighborhood Watch. The biggest plus may well be that neighbors who join a watch group actually get to know each other!! Events unrelated to crime prevention often grow out of these groups. Block parties, holiday celebrations and even neighborhood outings to sporting events or other activities are common benefits of an organized neighborhood.
Anyone can organize a Neighborhood Watch Group. The groups need only hold two official meetings a year. The Crime Prevention Officer will attend these meetings. The first meeting is an informational meeting about the Neighborhood Watch program and the free services offered by the Champlin Police Department. The second meeting can be about any crime prevention/police related topic that the group is interested in.
If anyone is interested in starting a group in their neighborhood, all they need to do is call the Champlin Police Department at (763) 421-2971.
Neighborhood Watch Program Questions:
HOW DO YOU START?
Contact your neighbors and ask them if they are interested in setting up a Neighborhood Crime Watch Group and ask them for their support and participation in this program. Set up a date and a time for your meetings. Most meetings take place Monday through Thursday in the evening. Often residents have meetings in their home, yard or a nearby park. The Crime Prevention Officer also has access to different meeting areas in the city. Contact the Crime Prevention Officer to arrange for a meeting at (763) 421-2971.
HOW FORMAL IS THIS ORGANIZATION?
You will need to choose a block captain and an alternate block captain and keep a list of member households.
1. Will this be very time consuming?
No, Neighborhood Watch Groups need to meet only two times per year. The Crime Prevention Officer will attend these meetings. The meetings usually last from 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
2. Do the meetings need to be specific Neighborhood Watch program meetings?
No. We encourage block parties, picnics, Christmas parties, Halloween parties, etc. Just remind the attendees about the Crime Prevention goal of the Watch group.
WHAT KINDS OF PROGRAMS CAN BE CONDUCTED FOR WATCH GROUPS?
Just about anything. Home security, personal safety, bicycle safety, drug awareness, stranger danger, fire prevention, etc. If you have an area of particular interest, contact the Crime Prevention Officer.
What are the Advantages of a Watch Group?
- First, you’ll get to know your neighbors better. With everyone watching the neighborhood for suspicious situations and potential criminals, your neighborhood will automatically become a safer place.
- It is easy for the police to get timely information to citizens through Watch groups. We can contact one person and reach many. If enough groups are formed, we can even provide a newsletter on a regular basis.
- The Crime Prevention Officer also brings along a “grid” report showing the recent crime activity in your area.
- Watch groups help the police help you by getting information to us in a timely manner. There are only so many police officers and we need group ears and eyes if our job is to be done effectively.
- Neighborhood Watch takes only a small commitment from you. A commitment to oppose crime in your neighborhood by cooperating with neighbors to watch your area and let the police know what is going on.
- By working together we can keep Champlin a very safe place to live. Contact the Champlin Police Department at (763) 421-2971.