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Starting a Neighborhood Watch Group
Form a small planning committee of neighbors to discuss needs, the level of interest, and possible problems. Decide on a date and place for an initial NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH meeting.
Contact the Tahlequah Police Department (456-8801). Request that an officer come to a meeting of your group in the near future to discuss NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH and help assess your community's problems and needs. Inquire about crime statistics for your area, but bear in mind that crime is typically under-reported.
Contact as many of your neighbors as possible, asking them:
- If they feel at risk of being burglarized or being the victim of other crimes
- If they have taken any steps to protect their homes
- If they would be willing to attend a meeting to organize a NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH group in your area.
You may be surprised to learn how many of your neighbors' lives have already been touched by crime!
Planning for a Successful First Meeting
- Schedule your initial meeting in a place convenient to the neighborhood, such as a private home, church community building, school or library.
- Contact the Police Department 10 to 14 days in advance and inform officials of the date and place of the first meeting; verify that an officer will be able to attend. The Chief of police will supply you with a letter of support that you can send out to all of your potential NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH members.
- Design a flyer or letter of invitation and see that one is delivered to every home on your block.
- Follow up each invitation with a call or personal visit, reminding neighbors of the meeting time and place.
- Try to get each household to commit at least one adult member to the meeting so you can estimate potential attendance.
- All family members are welcome to join NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH, as young people can add substantially to the success of the program. Senior citizen participation is also a plus; retired seniors are home and can observe the neighborhood when many other adults are at work.