The Neighborhood Watch is a program involving the joint efforts of the police department and the community designed to enhance neighborhood security, to heighten the community's power of observation, and to encourage mutual assistance, and concern among neighbors.
The Need for the Program
In recent years, neighborhoods have experienced rapid change. The old, well-established neighborhood has been replaced by a highly transient, growing community where people seek more and more privacy. This life-style tends to promote unfamiliarity with neighbors and a corresponding lack of concern. Unfortunately, this enhances the opportunity for the criminal element and increases the community's vulnerability to crime.
Neighborhood Watch doesn't take a lot of time or money. Contact your local law enforcement agency to find out specifically what Neighborhood Watch can do for you and what you can do for Neighborhood Watch. In El Dorado, call 316-321-9120 or email the department.
The main objective of Neighborhood Watch is to reduce the incidence of crime by:
- Developing a neighborhood action program where neighbors help watch each others property and report suspicious persons and activities to law enforcement agencies
- Encouraging all citizens to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in reporting crime
- Enlisting each home, apartment, or business in operation identification
- Increasing citizens' awareness of burglary and other neighborhood crime through a continuing information program, such as literature distribution and videos
- Training citizens in the means of better property security and assist them in making their property more secure, by completing operation identification and security surveys
Things to Watch For
Basically, anything that seems even slightly "out of place" or is occurring at an unusual time of day or night, could be criminal activity. Some of the most obvious activities to watch for and report include:
- A scream anywhere may mean robbery or assault
- A sound of breaking glass or loud explosive noises could mean an accident, burglary, or vandalism
- A stranger entering your neighbor's house when it is unoccupied, may be a burglar
- Anyone forcing entrance to, or tampering with a residence, business, or vehicle should be reported
- Anyone peering into parked cars may be looking for a car to steal or for valuables left displayed in the car
- Anyone removing accessories, license plates, or gas from a car should be reported
- Offers of merchandise at ridiculously low prices could mean stolen property
- Persons entering or leaving a business place after hours could mean burglars
- Persons loitering around schools, parks, and secluded areas could be kidnappers
- Persons loitering in the neighborhood who do not live there could be burglars
Recognizing Suspicious Behavior
The effectiveness of a law enforcement department's crime prevention effort is enhanced by active participation on the part of citizens. By calling to report suspicious persons or activity, you not only aid the police, you make your community a safer place to live.
Some people fail to call simply because they are not aware of activities that might be suspicious. Others may notice suspicious activity and hesitate to call for fear of being labeled a "nosy neighbor." Still others take it for granted that someone else has already called. Call 911 or 316-321-9100 immediately when you observe suspicious activity. Do not worry about "bothering" them. Do not worry about being embarrassed if your suspicions prove unfounded. Think instead about what could happen if you do not act.
Information Most Often Needed
- Description of persons: When describing suspects, notice age, race, sex, height, weight, and clothing. Compare your own height and weight with the suspects. Pick out some unique characteristics (scars, nose, jewelry, etc.) that will help you identify the suspect in the future if need be.
- Description of vehicle: License number, make, model, color, any noticeable damage, and direction of travel.
- Was anyone hurt?
- What happened?
- When did it happen?
- Where did it happen?