Neighborhood Watch groups have been working together for years to protect the safety and security of peoples homes, and we are so excited that YOU are interested in becoming part of a watch group in Spirit Lake!
Staying connected to the Spirit Lake Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Program gives you access to crime tips, educational materials, presentations, home security checks, important alerts, resources and more.
Anyone can join an existing group or volunteer to start a new group in an area where one does not yet exist, simply by filling out the “Application Brochure” below and sending it in to the Spirit Lake Police Department. Once your application is received, you will be contacted by a member of the department and provided with a welcome packet full of resources and contact information.
Forming a WATCH GROUP
- Fill out the Neighborhood Watch Program Application (pamphlet) and mail or email it as soon as possible. You may also call the information in to the Watch Coordinator. Note: The information is kept solely on file with the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for communication purposes.
- Contact neighbors to see who may be interested in getting involved and check-in with them about their availability to attend a meeting. Note: A group is usually comprised of your immediate neighbors—the homes located within your block or cul-de-sac. This may or may not include all the neighbors and may be as few as 6 homes or up to 20 or more homes.
Homeowner’s Associations, rural communities, mobile home parks, and condo or apartment complexes can also form watch groups. There may be one lead contact for the entire group and then smaller sub-groups where applicable.
- Contact the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator to find a good date for a meeting. Contact information is at the bottom of this memo. If you’re planning to meet at a local church, library, grange or other community location, you might want to check their availability first.
- Once you have a date set, encourage as many neighbors to attend as possible. Either pass out a flyer door-to-door or call or email them. You may want to offer beverages and/or snacks to encourage neighbors, but it is not required.
- At the meeting, the Spirit Lake Police Department’s Neighborhood Watch Coordinator and/or officer will go over the crimes in your area and will give a short presentation on deterring crime. Crime prevention materials will also be provided for the group. Note: Neighborhood Watch signs may be provided or purchased on-line.
Maintaining your WATCH GROUP
Staying in touch is the key to a successful Watch group!
- Set up a contact information sheet for the neighborhood. Note: It is helpful to include names, street address, phone numbers, email addresses, vehicles owned, pet information, numbers to call in case of emergency and any special needs.
- Create a distribution list to notify neighbors about various concerns—via phone tree, email, Facebook group, or other form of communication.
- Set up a phone tree list in the event of an emergency. Remind neighbors to report suspicious activity and any crimes to SLPD: (208) 623-2701. If a situation requires immediate law enforcement assistance, call 9-1-1
- Consider distributing a Neighborhood Watch Newsletter—via email or door-to-door.
- Consider having a neighborhood party for National Night-Out Against Crime—held the 1st Tuesday evening in August. Have a BBQ, ice cream social, safety presentation, etc.
- Create a block map of the homes in your area (not required, but helpful in an emergency) and share with the group. Remind them that this information should be respected and used solely for the purposes of the watch group.
- Contact your local Neighborhood Watch Coordinator or volunteer to learn about programs available for your community.
Throughout the nation it has been shown that by building relationships with neighbors, we lower crime rates and improve the overall quality of life in our neighborhoods.
BE A WATCH CAPTAIN IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD