Harshman: Start a Neighborhood Watch program

The Apache Junction Police Department would like to once again encourage the residents of our various communities to consider forming a Neighborhood Watch program.

Cpl. Marshall Harshman

A Neighborhood Watch program is when citizens and police, working together, tackle some of the specific criminal activity and raise the overall quality of life issues in various neighborhoods. Neighbors get to know each other and work together to address the concerns of the entire neighborhood — individual community.  

There are many benefits that come from coordinating a Neighborhood Watch program through the police department:

  • You can reduce your chances of being a victim and become better prepared to act when you encounter suspicious activity in your neighborhood.
  • You will educate yourself on issues that directly affect you through enhanced communication with your neighbors.
  • You and your neighbors gain a better understanding of the needs of your particular neighborhood.
  • By partnering and communicating with your neighbors and the police department, Neighborhood Watch programs re-instill a sense of community and well-being to a neighborhood.  

Starting up a program is easy and can be accomplished by getting with your neighbors and establishing the geographical boundaries of your Neighborhood Watch group. That can be an entire RV park or something as small as a cul-de-sac.

If at least 50% of the residents in the proposed area want to participate, then all that’s left is choosing a captain to serve as a coordinator and liaison for the Neighborhood Watch group, and registering your group with Apache Junction Police Department’s Community Resource Unit.  

You may be wondering how much work is involved. That depends on your Neighborhood Watch group and the challenges you may be facing in your area. Some neighborhoods may have a major area of concern which could require more work on behalf of the whole group. Other groups may be looking to just maintain their areas.

We do ask that each Neighborhood Watch group have at least two formal meetings per year. Some groups like to have formal meetings where they sit down and discuss their concerns, and others like to have barbecues or Ice-cream socials and discuss their concerns in an informal setting. The amount of work is up to you.  

While the police department has the responsibility of dealing with criminal issues, crime is a community problem and must be dealt with by everyone within the community. If you are interested in setting up a Neighborhood Watch group, contact Cpl. Harshman in the Apache Junction Police Department’s Police/Media/Community Relations Liaison Community Resource Unit at 480-474-5442. 

Cpl. Marshall Harshman
Community and media liaison officer
Apache Junction Police Department 

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