Neighborhood Watch

Sheriff's Office BadgeNeighborhood Watch was created in 1972 by the National Sheriffs' Association to encourage citizen involvement in preventing residential crime.  Members watch out for their neighbors and work together with each other and local law enforcement to reduce crime in their neighborhood. 

Neighborhood Watch Handbook

What does a Neighborhood Watch group do?

Neighbors who want to make their neighborhood safer can form a Neighborhood Watch group.  Groups meet periodically to get to know their neighbors and communicate crime prevention information.    Neighbors benefit by getting to know each other, forming strong community relationships and helping neighbors learn what is "normal" and what isn't in their neighborhood.  Groups sometimes have specific goals, such as to reduce vehicle theft, or they may have general goals such as to reduce neighborhood crime of all types.  Either way, Neighborhood Watch can work for you.  Learn more about Neighborhood watch by visiting the National Neighborhood Watch website.

Neighborhood Watch is a non-confrontational, observe and report program.  The Sheriff's Office does not advocate watch members following, approaching, confronting, intervening with, or detaining suspicious persons, or otherwise putting themselves at risk.  Community members are asked to report suspicious people and activities to their local law enforcement agency.  

Do I have to "patrol" as a Neighborhood Watch member?
No.  Most Neighborhood Watch groups involve neighbors getting together to get to know each other and compare crime prevention information in effort to reduce crime.  Organized "patrols" by vehicle or foot are not required. 

How do I start a Neighborhood Watch group?
Making the decision to start a Neighborhood Watch group  is the first step in helping keep your community safe.  National Sheriffs' Association Neighborhood Watch breaks down How to Start a Watch Group in 5 Easy Steps, and How to Organize Your Neighborhood Watch Group.  You can use the below Neighborhood Watch Flyer to help explain the program to your neighbors.

Neighborhood Watch Informational Flyer

Can my group put up Neighborhood Watch signs?  Where can I purchase the signs?
Signs are purchased by individual Neighborhood Watch groups.  The Sheriff's Office does not supply or sell signs.  There are a variety of places to purchase signs online, including National Neighborhood Watch Institute ( Signs must be placed on private property and should be securely mounted high enough to deter vandalism.  Contact "Call before you dig" at 1-800-332-2344 before you dig a hole for your new sign.

Neighborhood Watch groups are private organizations and are not authorized agents of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.  The Lane County Sheriff’s Office provides information to community members about National Neighborhood Watch – a division of the National Sheriffs’ Association, but is not responsible for the actions of Neighborhood Watch groups or individuals within those groups.

Questions?  Contact the Lane County Sheriff's Office Neighborhood Watch Coordinator.

Neighborhood Watch Resources

Starting a Neighborhood Watch Group
Organizing Your Neighborhood Watch Group
Neighborhood Watch Meetings
Neighborhood Watch and Social Media
National Neighborhood Watch Institute
National Crime Prevention Council