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Neighborhood Watch
As most people already know, the purpose of a Neighborhood Watch program is to develop a network of community stakeholders committed to supporting one another as a group to help lower crime and increase personal security. Through community awareness and involvement, communication and technology, neighbors can work together with the Police Department to reduce criminal opportunities in their area.

Neighborhood Watch programs can also assist in other ways. Active, vibrant neighborhoods instill in residents a strong sense of community, pride and ownership. Nothing is more essential when it comes to crime prevention. Through a Neighborhood Watch program, neighbors can also identify other community concerns, determine available resources, and coordinate activities to meet various needs.

Neighborhood Watch groups that have been implemented in other areas have proven to be extremely successful. Getting to know your neighbors is the first step to a successful Neighborhood Watch program.

How the Program Works
Neighborhood Watch is a group of neighbors that have met one another and agreed to watch each other's property and report suspicious or criminal activity to the Police Department. The informed and involved citizen is the best deterrent to crime; residential or otherwise. This is not just a "call in suspicious activity group" as much as meeting your neighbors, getting to know them and recognizing suspicious activity and persons in the neighborhood. Citizens have the capacity for observation, identification, and testifying against would-be criminals. Through further gatherings (block parties, meetings, phone calls, news letters) citizens can build a stronger and more efficient watch program.

CITIZENS PARTICIPATING IN NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH ARE ASKED NOT TO TRY TO STOP OR APPREHEND ANY SUSPECT(S). YOU’RE SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF OUR COMMUNITY IS OUR PRIORITY. REPORT ALL SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.

What We Want to Achieve
  • Developing "Our Community" and taking responsibility for it.
  • Being active in crime prevention activities within the community.
  • Removing any fears of reporting criminal activity.
  • Keeping open a line of communication with the police department.
  • Building a strong sense of ownership within community.
  • Taking neighborhood concerns/issues and developing programs to deal with them.

How to Get Started
  • Inquire if there is interest among the neighbors. (door to door, flyers, word of mouth)
  • Set up a time and place for a meeting with those interested. (home, church, park)
  • The first meeting should consist of getting to know one another and deciding who will be the block Captain(s). This should be someone willing to take on the responsibility of keeping everyone informed on meetings and happenings in the community, while acting as a direct liaison with the Police Department. A good captain can also help keep citizens involved in the program.
  • Discussion about chair positions should be discussed. (New neighbor greeter, newsletter team, information tech etc.)
  • After the initial meeting with at least 50% of the neighborhood represented, the group is eligible for Community Crime Signs to be installed in the community.
  • A neighborhood watch needs to remain consistent once started as to continue to help deter criminal activity. The whole process requires dedication and teamwork.
  • The Police Department will assist in getting your watch started.
  • Below are a few links to organizations with information on starting and maintaining a neighborhood watch program.
    www.usaonwatch.org
    www.nationaltownwatch.org
    www.cops.usdoj.gov
    www.ncpc.org
    www.citizencorps.gov

Who Do We Contact?
Contact the Fernandina Beach Police Department at (904) 277-7342 and request to speak with a shift supervisor. The Patrol Sergeant will set up a time to meet with the liaison (Block Captain) and discuss a time to meet with the Neighborhood Watch group.

This meeting will consist of crime safety tips and general ideas about making the neighborhood safer.The Officer assigned to your neighborhood will answer any questions the group may have, along with providing the assistance needed.