Neighborhood Watch

Sheriff's Office BadgeNeighborhood Watch was created in 1972 by the National Sheriffs' Association to encourage citizen involvement in preventing residential crime.  Members watch out for their neighbors and work together with each other and local law enforcement to reduce crime in their neighborhood. 


Lane County Sheriff's Office Neighborhood Watch Handbook

What does a Neighborhood Watch group do?
Neighbors who want to make their neighborhood safer can form a Neighborhood Watch group.  Groups meet periodically to get to know their neighbors and communicate crime prevention information.   Neighbors benefit by getting to know each other, forming strong community relationships and helping neighbors learn what is "normal" and what isn't in their neighborhood.  Groups sometimes have specific goals, such as to reduce vehicle theft, or they may have general goals such as to reduce neighborhood crime of all types.  Either way, Neighborhood Watch can work for you. 

How does the Sheriff's Office help my group?
The Sheriff's Office assists groups by attending an introductory meeting where the concept of Neighborhood Watch is presented by a member of the Sheriff's Office.  We can answer questions about how to make the program best work for you and your neighbors, and how to get started. The Sheriff's Office can also provide basic training such as how to describe a suspicious person or vehicle to law enforcement.

Do I have to "patrol" as a Neighborhood Watch member?
No.  Most Neighborhood Watch groups involve neighbors getting together to get to know each other and compare crime prevention information in effort to reduce crime.  While some groups will actively observe as they are out on walks or in a vehicle, it is not required.

How do I start a Neighborhood Watch group?
Making the decision to start a Neighborhood Watch group  is the first step in helping keep your community safe.  Groups should have a Group Representative that will communicate needs or concerns with the Sheriff's Office, and bring information from the Sheriff's office back to the group.  This person is usually the one who initiates the introductory meeting.

  1. Get together with your neighbors and determine if there is interest in starting a group in your area.   Be sure to let them know that Neighborhood Watch does NOT require patrolling or attending lengthy meetings!
  2. Determine a good date, time and place for an introductory meeting. Make sure to contact the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator if you would like them to attend the meeting and help you introduce the program to your neighbors!
  3. Work with your group members to determine areas of crime prevention to focus on or goals for the group.  Develop an action plan to help you reach those goals.
  4. Create a method for your group to communicate with each other in emergency situations and non-emergency situations.
  5. Communicate regularly with each other through periodic meetings, email, or group text. 

Can my group put up Neighborhood Watch signs?  Where can I purchase the signs?
Signs are purchased by individual Neighborhood Watch groups.  The Sheriff's Office does not supply or sell signs.  There are a variety of places to purchase signs online, including National Neighborhood Watch Institute (www.nnwi.org). Signs must be placed on private property and should be securely mounted high enough to deter vandalism.  Contact "Call before you dig" at 1-800-332-2344 before you dig a hole for your new sign.

Questions?  Contact the Lane County Sheriff's Office Neighborhood Watch Coordinator!

         Sergeant Carrie Carver:  541-682-4179 or Carrie.Carver@co.lane.or.us

Neighborhood Watch Resources

Neighborhood Watch Handbook
Bureau of Justice Assistance Neighborhood Watch Manual
National Neighborhood Watch Institute
National Crime Prevention Council
Neighborhood Watch Needs You!  Brochure