The Neighborhood Watch program is a partnership between city residents and the Snohomish Police Department. This partnership is facilitated by the Snohomish Coalition of Neighborhood Watch whose purpose is to provide coordination between neighborhoods within the City of Snohomish to strengthen community connection and standardize the approach to neighborhood watch, crime prevention and disaster planning.
Neighborhood Watch is built upon the notion that crime prevention is a shared responsibility. Citizens help by:
- Reporting crime and suspicious activity when you see it
- Getting acquainted with your neighbors
- Reducing the opportunity for crime to occur in your neighborhood
Research indicates that organized neighborhoods suffer fewer crime and quality of life issues than those communities that are unorganized.
Current Neighborhood Watch Groups
Several neighborhoods of the City of Snohomish already have Neighborhood Watch programs.
- Weaver Way
- Blackman's Lake
- Downtown Corridor
Snohomish Coalition of Neighborhood Watch
The Snohomish Coalition of Neighborhood Watch is the City’s main resource to help citizens create watches and coordinate information between existing ones. The Coalition assists in and guides formation of neighborhood watch with oversight from the Snohomish Public Safety Commission and input from the Snohomish Police, Council, Mayor and city staff.
The role of the City and local police in these programs is limited. The City provides the information that is contained in the National Neighborhood Watch Program and to coordinate city wide events that provide residents with the opportunities to interact with other Neighborhood Watch Captains and members. The city and law enforcement do not provide training outside of the materials and information outlined in the national program.
Benefits of Neighborhood Watch
Neighborhood Watch . . .
- Reduces your risk of being a victim of crime
- Trains you how to observe and report suspicious behavior
- Gets you acquainted with your neighbors
- Keeps you informed of criminal activity in your area
- Creates a connection to the deputies who patrol your neighborhood
- Teaches you how to address neighborhood nuisances
- Gives you a greater sense of security Empowers and strengthens your neighborhood
Start a Neighborhood Watch
Any community resident can spearhead the effort to organize a Neighborhood Watch. Below are the basic steps to follow to get started.
- Set a date and time for your first meeting and invite your neighbors. Hand delivered or in person invitations yield the best response, but you can also invite via social media if you are already connected to the people you want to include in your Neighborhood Watch.
- Be specific about who you invite to your first meeting as this will establish the size of your watch. Keep the size manageable. It is recommended that you limit your watch to no more than 15 houses on the same street. This is so that you are able to observe and report effectively.
- Invite a police representative to your first meeting. They will educate you and your neighbors about the Neighborhood Watch effort and be able answer any questions you may have about reporting policies etc. specific to your community.
At Your First Meeting
- Confirm the geographical boundary. If there is interest beyond this boundary expressed by other neighbors encourage the formation of separate Neighborhood Watches.
- Collect names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for all who attend and establish a communication tool i.e. phone tree, email list or facebook page. It is not recommended that you use Next Door or similar as these won’t be specific to your watch group. Whichever tool you choose will be used specifically to report suspicious activity between neighbors and for announcing neighborhood watch sponsored events such as meetings, picnics, disaster preparedness etc.
- Choose a captain or co-captains. These individuals will be the main contact within the Neighborhood Watch to help organize meetings/events and keep the watch organized.
The Neighborhood Watch program is not intended to form citizen crime watch patrol or vigilante groups. You are asked only to report the situation to the police and let us handle it. It is not a good idea to confront any suspicious person (s) or attempt to make an arrest yourself; your safety could be in jeopardy.