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What is Neighborhood Watch?
Neighborhood Watch is a partnership between neighbors and the Oakland Police Department to improve safety and prevent crime. Forming a Neighborhood Watch group on your block is the first step to making and keeping your neighborhood safe.
What are the requirements to become an official Neighborhood Watch group?
- Schedule and hold one Neighborhood Watch meeting
- Complete a neighborhood map
- Select a Block Captain and Alternate for the group
- Decide how many signs you want and where the signs should be installed
- Send a copy of the completed map and roster to the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator
- Consult the Block Captain's Manual for more information.
Please download the flyer of frequently asked questions about Neighborhood Watch, or call the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, at (510) 238-3091 for more information.
How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Group
Responsibilities of a Neighborhood Watch Block Captain
- Maintain your group’s map and roster.
- Be your group’s contact for the Oakland Police Department.
- Help your group organize a block party on National Night Out – the first Tuesday in August.
- Hold at least one Neighborhood Watch meeting per year (this can be fulfilled by having a block party on National Night Out).
- Work with your Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council and the Neighborhood Services Coordinator assigned to your beat to solve any problems that your group can’t solve on its own.
- Take the CORE (disaster preparedness) training and encourage others in your group to take it, too. By doing this, your group will know how to respond in an emergency and can help out at the Neighborhood Command Center (Maxwell Park School).
- Welcome new neighbors into your neighborhood with a welcome package of useful information about your neighborhood.
Developing Your Neighborhood Watch Roster
At the Neighborhood Watch meeting, you will be provided with a sign-in sheet or you may develop your own roster format. Your roster should include the following information for each member:
- Full name
- Street address
- Telephone number (home number, work number, cell phone, or pager)
- Email address (when available)
The roster should list each Block Captain and Alternate Block Captain
Developing Your Neighborhood Watch Map
Your map should reflect the physical shape of your street.
- If your street is a typical block with a cross-street intersection, make sure both street names show.
- If your street is a court or a loop/circle, your map should include the nearest cross street at the end of the court, loop/circle.
- Show all the house numbers in the area of the Neighborhood Watch, even if all residents are not participating.
- Show an arrow pointing North to give the general layout of the street.
Sample Map and Roster
Please call the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, Brenda Ivey at (510) 238-3091 for more information.
- The Oakland Police Department encourages you and your neighbors to form a Neighborhood Watch group on your block. It’s easy to do, and it’s one of the most important things you can do to prevent crime.
Crime Prevention Tips and More
- Home Security Survey (Tips / Self-Inspection Checklist)
- Solicitor Guidance
- Keeping Windows In Your Car (Auto Burglary Prevention)
- Ten Strategies for Community Safety
- Block Group Action Plans for Prevention: Residential Burglary, Auto Burglary and Theft, Robbery
- Personal Safety: Do You Have a Plan?
- Feet on the Street (walking group): Starter Kit, Training guide
- Security Camera tips: Surveillance Systems Toolkit, FBI: Caught on Camera on YouTube
- Holiday Safety Tips: English, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese
- Meeting Basics Toolkit: How to Run Effective and Productive Meetings
- Idea a Month Calendar for community building
- Grants for Community Groups
- Problem Solving Guide by Asset Mapping
- SMART Project Form
- And More at OPD Crime Prevention Services page
Other Neighborhood Watch Activities
In addition to holding the two Neighborhood Watch meetings to establish your group and learn about home security and personal safety, you may organize other activities to boost your neighborhood’s spirit and unity:
- Hold a block party on National Night Out
- Develop an email distribution group for your block
- Hold a block garage sale
- Hold a monthly movie night
- Sponsor an Earth Day project in your neighborhood
- Arrange for a bulky goods pick up
- Arrange for a neighborhood tree planting
- Develop a baby sitting co-op
- Sponsor a neighborhood book club
- Arrange for CORE (disaster preparedness) training for the group and set up a block command center.
- Help neighbors with gardening projects
- Sponsor a neighborhood composting or community gardening project
- Sponsor neighborhood paint and toxics run to the disposal site
- Know where everyone's gas and water shut off valves are in case of an emergency
- Here's a calendar to help you out: An Idea A Month