City of Colorado Springs / Police / Crime Prevention & Neighborhood Watch / Neighborhood/Business Watch / Requirements of a Neighborhood Watch



Neighborhood Watch - Starting and Maintaining

Starting a Neighborhood Watch

Starting a Neighborhood Watch is easy. The following steps must be taken when starting your group: 

  1. Decide on the number of households your watch program can effectively cover. Keep in mind the geographical layout of the neighborhood and the ease with which neighbors can observe each other’s property. Some groups will involve all the houses on one street facing each other while other groups may be organized around alleys, greenbelts, or cul-de-sacs. Most groups are around 5 - 25 households.
     
  2. Visit with your neighbors and explain that you are starting a Neighborhood Watch program.
     
  3. Determine what would be the most convenient day and time for them to attend a start-up meeting. In order to have maximum attendance, the most convenient day and time for the majority must be taken into consideration. It would be more convenient to have the meeting in one of the homes in the neighborhood, if that home were large enough to comfortably accommodate the number of people expected to attend.
     
  4. Contact your Crime Prevention Officer (CPO) to see when they or their designee will be able to attend the start-up meeting. It is very important to contact your CPO as soon as possible as some dates are booked up to a month in advance.  (Please see link to contact your divisional CPO)
     
  5. Block Captain(s) will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding and an application for a criminal background check.
     
  6. Have your start-up meeting.

Requirements for Starting and Maintaining Your Group

In order for your group to be recognized by the Department you MUST meet the following criteria:        

  1. Your group must meet at least twice a year and report your meeting dates to the Crime Prevention Officer. This is a requirement, and failure to do so will result in your removal from the program.
     
  2.  our group should complete Property Inventory sheets. The block captain and Police Department do not maintain those records. Property Inventory sheet are located in the Block Captain Handbook which will be brought to your start-up meeting.
     
  3. After meeting the criteria and holding your 2nd group meeting, your Neighborhood Watch Group may purchase two Neighborhood Watch signs and install your own signposts.  (please see link for more information)

Once your group has been started, your group needs to continue to meet at least twice a year. These meetings can be as formal or informal as you like including block parties, cookouts, or ice cream socials. An officer does not need to attend every meeting; however, to maintain your Neighborhood Watch Group status your meetings need to be reported to your Crime Prevention Officer.