Neighborhood Watch


What is Neighborhood Watch? 

Neighborhood Watch is simply neighbors looking out for neighbors and reporting suspicious activity. 

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. 

What is a Neighborhood Watch Program?

What is the benefit of having a Neighborhood Watch program?  

On average Neighborhood Watch areas see a 16-20% decrease in crime compared to other areas. 

Benefits of Having a Crime Watch

  • Getting to know your neighbors who will "watch out" for your neighborhood
  • Receiving neighborhood crime alerts
  • Posting crime watch signs to let criminals know you are involved
  • Neighbors are more likely to watch your home and report suspicious activity  

How do I know if we have a Neighborhood Watch Group in my Neighborhood?

The following map indicates if neighborhoods have an active or inactive watch group or have not recently had a group. If you have questions about a watch group in your area, you can contact the Crime Prevention Coordinator at 952-563-8808.

Who is a Block Captain? 

Communication is shared to participants through Block Captains to help citizens notice problems in their neighborhoods, creates an awareness of abandoned vehicles, city ordinance violations, evidence of drug dealing, vandalism, and they know where to report these problems in order to get a quicker, more effective solution.

What is a Block Captains role?

Starting a Watch Group

Starting a watch group can be done in 5 easy steps:

Starting a Watch Group in 5 easy steps

Is there a form I can use to obtain my neighbors contact info?

Blank sample contact form - Word document

Blank sample contact form - Excel document

Who is included in a Neighborhood Watch? 

Everyone is involved, young and old, single and married, renter and homeowner, children and adults, LGBTQ, disabled, minorities.  

Organizing in a Multi-Cultural Neighborhood

The United States has experienced a dramatic increase in cultural and ethnic diversity in the last decade and Bloomington is home to a wide range of diversity within its neighborhoods.  

Engaging with diverse neighborhoods

How to connect with Latino neighbors

How to connect with Muslim neighbors

Role of Kids in Neighborhood Watch 

A healthy neighborhood effort will endeavor to involve all members of the community. If you are interested in tapping the energy of your neighborhood's youth, you will find the results are well worth the effort. 

Project ideas for youth: 

  • Graffiti Prevention 
  • Adopt-An-Elder
  • Plays or Puppet Shows
  • Community Clean ups
  • Victim assistance 
  • Before or after school Neighborhood Watch

For a program to truly benefit teens and the community, it should: 

  • Have a plan to attract participants and supporters. Involve teens at all levels of the project (Planning, fundraising, carrying out the projects, evaluating). 
  • Address a problem or issue perceived as important by teens. 
  • Offer opportunities for teens to make their own decisions and cope with the consequences.
  • Promote responsibility and enhance self esteem.
  • Encourage participation of all teens, not just those who are easily motivated.
  • Build on teens need for friendship - central theme in adolescents daily life. 

How do I qualify for the Neighborhood Watch signs?

In order to be considered an "active" Neighborhood Watch group, the following guidelines must be met:

  • At least 50 percent of your neighborhood needs to participate in the Neighborhood Watch program. This is usually met at the original meeting, but if it isn't, neighbors can be contacted afterwards to get their commitment to the program. We are averaging 95 percent participation.
  • Block Captain/s will be recruited at the initial meeting. They will act as liaisons between the neighborhood and the Police Department.
  • An annual meeting is encouraged to maintain the commitment to the program, to keep the communication channels open within the neighborhood and have a vehicle in place to address concerns as they arise.
  • Annual participation in National Night Out.

Once these requirements are met, the neighborhood watch signs will be installed and will remain as long as the neighborhood stays active in the program.

10 effective things to keep our Neighborhood Watch successful

How do I know about crime in my community?​

  • Ever wonder what crime occurs in your in your neighborhood?                                                                                   
  • Would you find value in having crime reports emailed to you?                                                                                       
  • Ever seen a police presence and wondered what, or if, a crime occurred? 
If so, the Community Crime Map is a great resource for you!

Community Crime Map helps the public get a better idea of the crime activity in their area so they can make more informed decisions about how to stay safe. It goes beyond crime mapping by automatically alerting the public about recent crime activity and by improving communication between the public and law enforcement though anonymous tips. Community crime map empowers the public to make better decisions about crime by putting the same technology used by law enforcement to analyze and interpret crime activity into hands on the public.

How does it work? 

Law enforcement agencies keep detailed records about each incident that occurs in their jurisdiction. When an incident happens, the officer that responded to the incident writes a detailed report with information about the event including the location, people involved, related vehicles and other useful information. Community crime map takes this data, cleans it to protect victim privacy, and display it to the public so citizens can be aware of the events that occur in their  area and take action to stay safe.

What is suspicious activity and how do you report it? 

A key piece of Neighborhood Watch is being aware of suspicious activity and what to look for. It is also important to learn how be a quality witness by observing what is going on around you.

What is suspicious activity?

What kind of activity could indicate we have a drug house in our neighborhood? 

Neighborhood Watch Success

The Neighborhood Watch program is working and making a difference in the crime rate in Bloomington. By working together we can make sure our community stays a safe place to work and live.

What if I still have questions? Who do I contact?

If you still have question, you can contact:

Katie Zerull
Crime Prevention Coordinator
Bloomington Police Department