What is a Neighborhood Watch?
Neighborhood Watch is a program of neighbors watching out for each other’s safety and property and citizens aiding the Livonia Police Department in reducing crime within their community by acting as extra “eyes and ears” for the Department. The program is not intended to turn citizens into vigilantes nor is it designed for participants to take personal risks to prevent crime.
Neighborhood Watch programs can also be the ideal forum for teaching residents techniques for making their homes more secure, properly identifying their property, reporting suspicious activity to the Police Department and, most importantly, allow neighbors to get to know each other and their routines so that any unusual activity will be noticed and reported.
Please keep in mind that Neighborhood Watch programs convey no legal authority on behalf of the City of Livonia or the Livonia Police Department to their members.
The information on the following pages discusses how you can start a Neighborhood Watch program in your neighborhood.
How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Program in Your Area
- Carefully read the attached Neighborhood Watch information. If you have any questions, contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 734-466-2324.
- Determine which streets you want to include with your group. If you are in subdivision, you may want to include the entire subdivision in the program. Make a list of the streets that are involved.
- Visit your neighbors and explain that you are starting a Neighborhood Watch program for the neighborhood. Inform them of the benefits of having a Neighborhood Watch program and would appreciate their attendance at the initiation meeting. For the area that is going to be covered by the Neighborhood Watch a minimum of 50% of the residents need to commit for the program to be implemented.
- Determine who will be the coordinator for the group. The coordinator will be the contact person between the group and the Livonia Police Department and will be responsible for passing along information and materials provided by the Crime Prevention Unit.
- After you have gotten commitments from at least 50% of the residents and chosen a coordinator for the group, contact the Livonia Police Crime Prevention Unit at 734-466-2324 about setting up an initiation meeting. It is important to contact the Crime Prevention Unit at least 2-3 week prior to the initial meeting to assure a representative from the Department can attend.
- It is the coordinator’s responsibility to reserve a meeting place and arrange for refreshments (if desired). We suggest that you contact local schools, churches or libraries. Meetings can also be held at member’s homes.
- The coordinator should complete the “Coordinator Information Form” and forward it the Crime Prevention Unit, along with a street listing or subdivision map that includes the Neighborhood Watch participants.
- Block maps, which include the addresses of all residents, should be turned into the Crime Prevention Unit before the initiation meeting. A block may consist of any group or 10-25 homes. The block captain should be indicated on each block map.
- Written notice should be delivered to all residents in the subdivision, giving the meeting date, time and location.
- Block captains may be asked to contact residents by phone or in person to remind them of the meeting a day or two before the scheduled date.
- It is important that that coordinator and block captains are present at the initiation meeting. Residents must sign in at the meeting.
After the Initial Meeting
The percentage of participation will be determined from the sign-in sheets. The coordinator should contact the Crime Prevention Unit when the participation requirement of at least 50% has been met for the subdivision or area.
Following the initiation meeting, a minimum of one (1) other meeting must be held before the Crime Prevention Unit will provide “Neighborhood Watch” street signs. This meeting must have 50% participation.
Annually, Neighborhood Watch groups must meet at least one (1) time to maintain their recognition by the Crime Prevention Unit.
The Coordinator and the Crime Prevention Unit will mutually agree on a date for Neighborhood Watch meetings. It is the responsibility of the Coordinator to inform members and invite new residents to subsequent meetings.