" Neighborhood Watch Program "
In an effort to restore neighborhood safety and security, the National Sheriffs' Association launched a Neighborhood Watch program in 1972. Burglary was chosen as the target crime because of its prevalence - New York State has more than one burglary every two minutes - and because police can combat burglary effectively with public cooperation.
Neighborhood Watch, which gets police and citizens working together for neighborhood safety, is a self-help anti-crime program. Residents make a community effort, in cooperation with their law enforcement agencies, to protect each other and their property. Local law enforcement personnel show citizens how to report crimes or suspicious persons to police. Residents of a community know, better than area patrol officers, who belongs in the neighborhood and who doesn't. They accept deliveries, mow lawns, shovel snow, and pick up mail and newspapers while neighbors are away, to give their homes a "lived-in" look. Neighbors help neighbors, turning streets and apartment complexes into communities again. Citizens take the initiative for their own safety.
Neighborhood Watch does not require that people reveal family secrets. It offers attentive concern without loss of privacy. It is not snooping; it is not binocular-wielding busybodies; it is not vigilante groups. One person is NOT responsible for an entire apartment complex or block of houses. It costs members no money.
The program is built on cooperation and reciprocity on a small scale, multiplied many times as more and more groups of neighbors participate. People help each other for the protection of "their” neighborhood. They watch only the homes or apartments immediately around them. Police and neighbors agree that each group needs the other to ensure safe places to live. Police need timely information, neighbors need trained law enforcement - and Neighborhood Watch builds a two-way bridge between them.
The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office currently utilizes Nextdoor, a virtual neighborhood watch program. Neighborhoods are set up online and anyone who lives within that defined neighborhood can join. This helps to keep the integrity of the neighborhood so anyone who does not live in that area cannot see what others are posting or responding to. Also, the Sheriff’s Office will stay in communication with the groups by sending out crime and safety information specific to your neighborhood.
To learn more about Nextdoor, please visit their website at www.nextdoor.com or by contacting the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Community Services Division at 716-438-3310.