Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention programs in the country, bringing citizens together with law enforcement to deter crime and make communities safer. Launched in 1972, Neighborhood Watch counts on citizens to organize themselves and work with law enforcement to keep a trained eye and ear on their communities, while demonstrating their presence at all times of day and night. Neighborhood Watch works because it reduces opportunities for crime to occur, it doesn’t rely on altering or changing the criminal’s behavior or motivation.
The Community Watch program is a partnership between the Laclede County Sheriff’s Office and the community to address crime issues. Working together we can “protect what we value” our families, neighbors, and community. Community watch is about neighbors taking care of neighbors and working with the sheriff’s office to reduce crime in the county.
Here’s how to get started
- Contact the Sheriff’s Office and request a meeting about setting up a Community Watch meeting between your neighbors and the office
- Contact your neighbors and get them involved with the program and invite them to the meeting to discuss the program and crime in our area
- Work with your neighbors to report crime and suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Office
- Make use of our Community Watch Brochure
What is suspicious activity
- Vehicles driving slowly by that you are unfamiliar with
- Unfamiliar people going door to door, possibly trying to sell merchandise or asking for assistance
- Vehicles at you neighbor’s house that you don’t recognize during a time that your neighbors are away
- Abnormal activity that may pose a danger to your community
What information do you need
- Where did it happen
- What happened
- When did it happen
- Was anyone injured
- Vehicle or person description
- Direction they left in
- Work with the Sheriff’s office. Our agency is critical to a Watch group’s credibility and are the source of necessary information and training.
- Hold regular meetings to help residents get to know each other and to decide upon program strategies and activities.
- Physical conditions like abandoned cars or overgrown vacant lots contribute to crime. Sponsor cleanups, encourage residents to beautify the area, and ask them to turn on outdoor lights at night.
- Emphasize that Watch groups are not vigilantes and should not assume the role of the police. Their duty is to ask neighbors to be alert, observant, and caring—and to report suspicious activity or crimes immediately to law enforcement.