WHY COMMUNITY WATCH?
Community Watch is a crime prevention program that involves individual groups working with the police to affect crime. Crime prevention resources are available online regarding current crime trends, crime prevention, and safety techniques. Community Watch encourages participants to keep a watchful eye, not only on the block where they live but the community as a whole, and report suspicious and potential criminal behavior. Community Watch begins with a block approach and expands to include others in the surrounding area and scope of influence. Participants are encouraged to reach out to businesses, nearby schools, and non-profit organizations to get to know each other and communicate.
HOW DOES A RESIDENT START A COMMUNITY WATCH?
Residents wishing to initiate Community Watch should call the Community Resource Specialist in your geographic division and listed at the bottom of this page. Community Watch Informational Brochures, available in English and Spanish, are available via links below.
Define your Community Watch group, usually 12 to 20 homes or businesses. Everyone on a block should be invited, including neighbors on the next block. School or faith based representatives, and community leaders should be considered. Purposely excluding renters or specific people causes tension and may make residents feel that they are being discriminated against.
At least one person per group needs to volunteer to act as the liaison and will be known as the Community Contact. Usually this is the individual who takes the first step to get the group started. The Community Contact should not be an absentee property owner or businessperson.
COMMUNITY'S CONTACT ROLE:
As the Community Contact, you will:
- Personally introduce yourself to your neighbors to gain residents' support and participation in the program. Your goal is 100% participation. Ask your neighbors what day would be best for them to participate in your first meeting.
- Schedule your group's initial meeting with the Community Resource Specialist and notify the council office. The meeting is usually 1 hour in length and is held at a home or other nearby location.
- Prepare and distribute meeting invitations. Re-notify your neighbors just before the meeting.
- Before your meeting, draw a map that shows your street name and a square for each house/business. Write the address in each block. Make copies for each household.
- At your meeting - Have an attendance sheet available and assign someone the task of taking meeting notes. This will help track action items. Provide and distribute nametags to encourage attendees to get acquainted. After introductions, discuss a plan for neighborhood communication i.e. email tree, phone tree, regular social gatherings, newsletter. Discuss any neighborhood issues and potential resources or action plan to address them.
- Keep in touch with your Community Resources Specialist. If you need resources, clarification, or help, do not forget to call.
- Disseminate information received from the Police Department.
- Periodically review the Long Beach Police Department website to provide your group with information.
- Attend one Police Department organized meeting annually to keep your group on the "active" list.
As a participant, you will:
- Get to know your neighbors and build a neighborhood team.
- Keep a watchful eye and report suspicious or potential criminal behavior.
- Develop strategies for communicating.
- Identify and discuss neighborhood problems.
- Develop a plan of action to resolve problems.
- Learn about community resources, crime trends, and crime prevention.
In you want to report an EMERGENCY and police are needed at your location, please call: 9-1-1 (Voice and TDD/TTY) For Life-Threatening Emergencies Only
To ask a question, or seek advice about a police related topic, or to request extra patrol while away on vacation, or to report a non-emergency, please call Police Dispatch at (562) 435-6711
If you would like additional information regarding Community Watch, please contact the Community Resource Specialist assigned to your division:
Jose Gonzalez, Patrol Resource Officer
Office: (562) 570-9827
Erika Moreno, Neighborhood Services Specialist
Jose Vazquez, Neighborhood Services Specialist
Office: (562) 570-3461
Office: (562) 570-5812