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The Orlando Police Department's
mission is to keep Orlando a safe city by reducing crime and maintaining livable
neighborhoods. Preventing crime in our community is a shared responsibility
between the police and our residents. The Neighborhood Watch Unit (NWU) has been
entrusted with the responsibility of empowering Orlando's residents to keep
their neighborhoods safe. Creating safe neighborhoods and conducting crime
prevention education is our #1 goal.
The Objectives of Neighborhood Watch are:
To prevent crime by improving security, increasing vigilance,
and creating and maintaining a caring community in an effort to reduce the
opportunities for crime
To assist the police in detecting crime by promoting
effective two-way communication and the prompt reporting of suspicious and
To reduce undue fear of crime by providing accurate
information about crime risks, and by promoting a sense of security and
community spirit...particularly amongst the more vulnerable members of the
To enhance the police/community partnership by providing
effective communication through systems such as the Neighborhood Watch Block
Captain Program. The Neighborhood Watch Unit communicates with Block Captains
via e-mail, fax, phone or mail of local crime trends which they may then
disseminate to their Neighborhood Watch members.
The ABC's of Neighborhood Watch
When a group decides to form a Neighborhood Watch, it:
Contacts the Orlando Police Department Neighborhood Watch
Unit for help in training members in home security, reporting skills and for
information on local crime patterns
Selects a Block Captain who is responsible for organizing
meetings and relaying information to members
Recruits members, updates records
What is Suspicious Activity?
Someone screaming or shouting for help
Someone looking into windows and parked cars
Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or
a business is closed
Cars, vans or trucks moving slowly without apparent
destination, or without lights
Anyone being forced into a vehicle
A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child
A suspicious activity is an occurrence that is out of place
and should not be happening in your neighborhood. Report these incidents to the
police department. Talk about the problem with your neighbors.
Our team formula is:
Neighborhood Watch + 9-1-1 =
Safer Neighborhoods in Orlando!
continuity and success of the Neighborhood Watch program hinges on the person
referred to as the Block Captain. The "Block Captain" is a community member who
acts as a liaison between those who work and/or live in a particular area, and
the officers assigned to that area. Through the Block Captain, and through
Neighborhood Watch meetings, officers pass along crime prevention tips and
information to members of the community. This liaison is maintained on an
informal basis within the framework of the Neighborhood Watch group.
Organizing and Maintaining
The defined Neighborhood Watch area must have at least 40%
Two training meetings: at the first meeting, you will learn
the dynamics of Neighborhood Watch; the second meeting is about residential
Creation of a communication/telephone chain
The Watch must be able to maintain an accurate list of
members' names, addresses, and telephone numbers
The Watch must be able to activate the
communication/telephone chain and reach all members within a designated time
The Neighborhood Watch group is required to hold two meetings
a year, which must be scheduled through your Neighborhood Watch ambassador.
Participation in National Night Out will count as one of the required
How to Get Started
First, concentrate your initial effort by organizing those
neighbors with whom you have occasional contact. For example, if your block is
mostly single-family dwellings, invite neighbors on both sides of the street and
adjacent corners. If you live in an apartment or condominium, include everyone
in your building and in the adjacent buildings as space permits.
Secondly, talk to your neighbors and tell them you are
starting a Neighborhood Watch and that you need their participation. Enlist the
help of another willing neighbor to assist you. Introduce yourselves by going
safely door-to-door. We suggest the following tips to encourage the neighbors to
Tell your neighbors about any recent crime activity in the
area. Inquire as to which evenings your neighbors are available. Generally,
neighborhood meetings are conducted in the evenings Monday through Thursday.
Exchange phone numbers. Tell your neighbors that you will
notify them when a meeting is scheduled.
Take this opportunity to get acquainted on a first-name
basis. This is vital to the success of your Neighborhood Watch.
If you need a location for your meeting, ask if neighbors can
offer their home to host this or a future meeting. Alternative locations, which
can commonly accommodate a meeting, include local schools, places of worship,
Lastly, call the Neighborhood Watch Unit at (407) 246-2369
to schedule an available date and time for your first meeting.