One significant way in which residents of the Old North End can help to combat crime in the neighborhood is to initiate or reinvigorate Neighborhood Watch programs.
Neighborhood Watch started in Colorado Springs in the 1970s and has grown to include 700 groups. An effective watch program can address concerns as diverse as crime prevention, drug awareness, personal safety, fire prevention, first aid, city planning, traffic safety and other activities that contribute to a secure, enjoyable community.
What is a Neighborhood Watch?
It is a group of neighbors who are willing to communicate with each other and pass along crime and non-crime related neighborhood information. The groups are educated in crime prevention and trained to observe and report suspicious activity to each other and the police.
How to Start a Neighborhood Watch.
- Visit with your neighbors and explain you’re starting a Neighborhood Watch program.
- Contact your Crime Prevention Officer (CPO) James Barrentine (719-444-7593) (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask him to bring or send you a Block Captain Handbook and Crime Prevention Handbook. Read the helpful guidelines within the handbook on becoming a Block Captain and your responsibilities.
- Decide on the number of households your watch program can effectively cover.
- Determine a convenient day and time for everyone to attend a start-up meeting.
- Again, contact Officer Barrentine and invite him to attend. This first meeting is extremely important for your group. The officer attending has been specially trained in crime prevention and community policing. He will provide your group with valuable information about crimes that have occurred in our neighborhood. Based on this knowledge, Officer Barrentine will educate your group and explain how to make our neighborhood a difficult target for the prowling criminal.
- Occe a date and time have been coordinated with Officer Barrentine, develop a meeting announcement flier, make copies, and distribute them to neighbors. Stress the importance of having at least one adult from each household attend the meeting.
- Conduct your start-up meeting.
How can we help ourselves?
The Colorado Springs Police Department does not have the budget or resources available to patrol our neighborhood more frequently. We are our own best resource in creating a safe and tight-knit community. Think about becoming more aware of the comings and goings of your neighbors. What cars do they drive? When they aren’t home, do newspapers pile up? Try picking them up. Who looks like they’re loitering without purpose in the middle of the day? Why is someone in your alley or lingering on a corner? Why is someone sitting in that car across the street for several hours? Take down their license plate number. Be proactive. Report suspicious behavior. Be a good neighbor! For non-emergency police response, call 444-7000. Check out our Protect Yourself and Your Family page.
Interested in starting a Citizen’s Patrol?
Contact Holly Dickens at email@example.com or Nancy Lippincott at NLippincott@oldnorthend.org with your comments or questions.