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 get to know one another and who work together to recognize and report suspicious activities to Folsom Police at 916-355-7231.
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 the homes so that 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.
Get started with Neighborhood Watch
Any neighborhood can have Neighborhood Watch. To get started:
- Think about who would be in your group. Typically, it is 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.
- Pick a location and few dates 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 give at least 3 weeks 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.
- Meet new neighbors on the street and inviting them to join in the Neighborhood Watch.
- Distribute any Neighborhood Watch fliers and collect materials from neighbors, as necessary.
- Share information with Neighborhood Watch members in a timely fashion via email or social media groups, such as Facebook.
- Organize meetings with your Neighborhood Watch on a regular basis. 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. Don’t forget National Night Out is the first Tuesday in August each year and is a great opportunity for the neighbors to get together!
- Remind neighbors to call the Folsom Police Department if they see anything unusual in the neighborhood. For non-emergency issues, please call 916-355-7231. For crimes in progress or emergencies, please call 911.
- Work 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 at 916-461-6516 or CAPS@folsom.ca.us.
You have your date; you have your location… now make that 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 pertaining to common types of criminal activities, such as vehicle burglary.
- Crime prevention programs offered by 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- Be sure to include your phone number or email so they can reach you.
- Ask for RSVP’s 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!
Having Neighborhood Watch signs on your street is a great way to let potential criminals know that your neighborhood is paying attention. It may even help dissuade them for pursuing activities on your street.
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, meeting, neighborhood potluck, park meet-up, etc. 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.
Communicating with Your Group
- Social Media
- Emails (link to email template- coming soon!)
- Phone Trees
Materials to Share
- 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