- When a resident calls the Citizens Crime Watch office at 305-470-1670, a request for service is created listing to all their information and concerns so that it can be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement department.
- An initial meeting, which last about an hour, is scheduled for a weeknight at 7 p.m. — a good time for people to be home from work.
- The meeting preferably is held in the neighborhood at someone's home. This way people can just walk to the meeting. This has been found across the country to be much more effective since the objective is to meet and get to know your neighbors. In some areas, this part may not be possible due to crime issues, so we try to find a safe location nearby for the meeting — a church, a clubhouse or in some cases, in the middle of the street. For those who live in apartment buildings, we have held meetings in parking lots too.
- Once a meeting date has been established with the police officer and the host, a flier and brochure are provided to be distributed to all neighbors. English, Spanish and Haitian Creole versions are available. This is to inform everyone of the meeting; the brochure speaks to the implementation of a Neighborhood Crime Watch.
- The night of the meeting, the police officer and someone from the Citizens Crime Watch office will attend. The officer provides information regarding crime trends, crime statistics, the police departments role in the community and what their department is doing to assist the community.
- The officer also discusses alarm issues as well as how and when to call the police. The officer teaches residents what information is needed when calling police about a suspicious person or vehicle. The officer also answers questions.
- The Citizens Crime Watch coordinator explains how to set up a phone chain — a collection of phone numbers, addresses and special needs or information pertinent to each home in the neighborhood. When the phone chain is completed, it is shared with all neighbors participating in the crime watch.
Implementing a Neighborhood Watch is not easy. It takes dedication and "sweat equity", but as the thousands already involved will say, it's the best thing that can happen to a neighborhood.
The above steps may differ for some municipalities that implement their own programs. If they don't have a Neighborhood Watch program, contact the Citizens Crime Watch office and they will be happy to supply you with some crime prevention materials.