When citizens band together as a Neighborhood Watch group and combine their efforts with law enforcement, a crime prevention partnership is formed.
A Neighborhood Watch is a group of neighbors who work together to recognize and report suspicious activities to Folsom Police at 916-461-6400 (select option #1 to speak to a Police Dispatcher).
Neighborhood Watch groups don't patrol their neighborhoods or act like police officers. Neighborhood Watch members:
- Get to know each other, know what vehicles their neighbors drive, typical schedules, and who lives in each home. If something seems off, they can check on each other or report it.
- Report suspicious activity to the Police Department.
- Share crime information and prevention tips.
Any neighborhood can have Neighborhood Watch. To get started:
- Think about who would be in your group. Typically, it’s best to have a group of neighbors whose homes are within visual range of each other.
- Think about who might be a good Block Captain. Learn more about the Block Captain’s responsibilities below.
- Pick a location and a few date options for a first meeting and contact Folsom Police Department Community Services at 916-461-6516 to arrange for officers and CAPS volunteers to join your first meeting. Please provide at least three weeks of lead time before your meeting to assist with scheduling.
Each Neighborhood Watch group is led by a Block Captain. Block Captains are responsible for:
- Creating and maintaining a contact list for all the properties within your Neighborhood Watch.
- Meeting new neighbors on the street and inviting them to join in the Neighborhood Watch.
- Distributing any Neighborhood Watch information and collecting materials from neighbors, as necessary.
- Sharing information with Neighborhood Watch members in a timely fashion via email or social media groups, such as Facebook.
- Organizing regular meetings with your Neighborhood Watch. Some groups like to meet more frequently, and some may only meet once or twice a year. Remember, your Neighborhood Watch group doesn’t need to meet only about crime-related issues. Hosting a more social meeting or meetings to help solve other neighborhood issues are great ways to continue to meet neighbors and get to know one another. National Night Out is the first Tuesday in August each year and is a great opportunity for the neighbors to get together!
- Reminding neighbors to call the Folsom Police Department if they see anything unusual in the neighborhood. For non-emergency issues, please call 916-461-6400 (select option #1 to speak with a Folsom Police Dispatcher). For crimes in progress or emergencies, please call 9-1-1.
- Working as a liaison between your group and the Folsom Police Department Community Services and CAPS volunteers. They can help you with information and materials to help make your meetings a success. They can be reached by phone at 916-461-6516 or by email.
After you secure your meeting date and location, it’s time to make your first meeting happen!
- The CAPS volunteers, officers, and dispatchers attending your first meeting will handle the agenda and will cover the following topics:
- What is Neighborhood Watch, and how does it work?
- What happens when you call Folsom Police Department or 9-1-1?
- A typical day for an officer in Folsom
- Information about common types of criminal activities, including vehicle burglary
- Crime prevention programs offered by the Folsom Police Department
- Communicate with your neighbors and let them know what is happening.
- Knock on doors to invite people.
- Use door tags to let people who are not home know about the upcoming event. Include your phone number or email so they can reach you.
- Ask for RSVPs so you know how many to expect.
- Set up your meeting space.
- Make sure you have enough seats.
- Set seats up in a U-shape so everyone can see the presenters.
- Have a table to set out materials.
- Consider a snack or beverages. Some groups even ask neighbors to bring food and have a potluck!
Placing Neighborhood Watch signs on your street lets potential criminals know that your neighborhood is paying attention. It may even help dissuade them for pursuing activities on your street.
The Folsom Police Department will provide at least one Neighborhood Watch sign for your street, provided the following conditions are met:
- There is an active Neighborhood Watch on the street.
- Neighborhood Watch Block Captain must have attended one meeting in the last year.
- Neighborhood Watch must have had one event/meeting in the past year. National Night Out, neighborhood potluck, and park meet-ups are all great ways to meet this qualification!
To get a Neighborhood Watch sign for your street, please contact Folsom Police Department Community Services at 916-461-6516.
The following resources are here to help new and existing Block Captains.
Tips and Templates
- How to set up Facebook Groups
- Phone Tree Template
- Door Hanger- 1st Meeting
- Door Hanger- Welcome to the Neighborhood
- Door Hanger- Event
- City Phone List Card
- Vacation Check Request Form
- Camera Registration Information
- Police Logs
- Bureau of Justice Assistance- Neighborhood Watch Manual
- National Association of Town Watch
- Pinterest for activities and games and National Night Out ideas
- National Night Out
- Dog Walker Watch Presentations
- Block Party
- Neighborhood Clean-Up
- Topics to consider:
- Child Safety
- Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
- Fraud Prevention
- Home Security Specialist