Neighborhood Watch

The National Neighborhood Watch program empowers citizens to become active in community efforts through participation in Neighborhood Watch groups. Housed within the National Sheriffs’ Association, Neighborhood Watch has worked since 1972 to unite law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens in a nation-wide effort to reduce crime and improve local communities. The success of the program has established Neighborhood Watch as the nation’s premier crime prevention and community mobilization program.

Visit to learn more from the national sponsor. If you are interested in setting up a Neighborhood Watch program in your Durham neighborhood, simply contact your district’s CRU Officer.

Below are broad guidelines that apply to Durham Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch program.

·         When starting a group, half (25%) of households enlisted must attend introductory neighborhood watch meeting.

·         One Neighborhood Coordinator typically manages the Block Captains in the neighborhood.

·         The national model suggests one Block Captain manage no more than group 10 to 12 households on the block.

·         CRU requires at least one neighborhood representative attend 25% of monthly Partners Against Crime (PAC) in the district. 


How Neighborhood Watch Works

Getting Started. Check with neighbors to see if there is interest in Neighborhood Watch. If so,  contact your district Community Resource Unit (CRU)  officer to schedule a neighborhood meeting. Invite everyone in the community to the meeting. Keep a log, which includes names, addresses and telephone numbers  of everyone who attends the introductory/orientation meeting.

Logistics.  Typically, one Block Captain is selected for each block (10-12 houses) in the community. The Block Captain must live on that block and needs to know every head of household on the block. The Block Captain must also maintain a list of current phone numbers for each head of household. Email list servs are also a useful tool.

Member/Resident Duties. Coordinate with the district CRU Officer to correct weaknesses in home security. Call 911 to report any crimes or suspicious activities or persons in your neighborhood. Watch out for your neighbors' homes especially when they are away from home.

  • Home Security Surveys. Do you want to make your home less vulnerable to criminals?  Are you aware of the kinds of physical conditions and surroundings that make your residence more susceptible to burglary? Home security assessments culminate in a CRU Officer recommending strategies to target harden your home to deter criminals and minimize safety hazards.  Simply contact your district CRU officer to schedule an appointment to assess your residence and yard to give advice about lighting, locks, landscaping, and surveillance technology, etc.
  • Personal Safety Presentations. Your district CRU Officer can conduct engaging presentations and demonstrations about general home and personal safety procedures.  Presentations teach participants how to maintain an awareness of their surroundings and provide information about what to do if you are confronted by a suspicious or hostile person.
  • Neighborhood Speed Enforcement. Is speeding a problem in your neighborhood? CRU can set up   a speed indicator device that digitally displays motorists' speeds as they drive by. Generally the technology is used in conjunction with RADAR in neighborhoods where there have been complaints about excessive speed. The program has two goals:  to slow down speeders and to efficiently compile data that may justify further speed enforcement action by local law enforcement.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Crime prevention Through Environmental Design

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