The Neighborhood Watch program here in South Burlington follows the larger National Neighborhood Watch which can trace its history back to the Town Watches of Colonial America. Here, local towns’ people would serve as night watchmen and by lantern light, would patrol the streets.
The modern day Neighborhood Watch program came about in the 1960’s in response to increased burglary rates. Police Chiefs and Sheriffs from across the country devised a new plan which incorporated community involvement efforts to aid local law enforcement in preventing and decreasing crime. By 1972 the National Sheriffs Association, created the basic Neighborhood Watch program which focused on training citizens to recognize crime, serve as an “extra set of eyes and ears”, as well as law enforcement providing helpful tips on how to better improve home security. Also in the early years, the program served as a channel between law enforcement and the community to disseminate information on burglaries and other important safety information.
Here in South Burlington, the Neighborhood Watch program has become more proactive and evolved into something much more than the traditional extra eyes and ears. Our program hosts:
- Training on crime prevention by making our homes harder targets for burglars
- Ways to identify and report suspicious activity
- Tips on hosting and planning neighborhood meetings and information sessions
Through this all it enhances the community- police partnership so that the city can continue to be a wonderful and safe place to live and grow a family. Furthermore through Neighborhood Watch, the Crime Prevention Unit is committed in aiding groups by providing contact information with other local agencies in order to host large block parties or other community functions.
While many of our neighborhoods host vibrant watches that are very effective in crime prevention and consequently crime reduction, we are always looking to create new groups within the city. For those neighborhoods whose group is not as thriving as it once was, we highly encourage one of our many training and meeting sessions to learn how once again become a prosperous watch group.
With many of our residents working all day, this leaves some areas vacant and with the increase in senior and youthful populations, the Neighborhood Watch program here in South Burlington has become an important part of community safety. This is done with the willingness to look out for one another by reporting suspicious activity to our law enforcement agency.
For Neighborhood Watch resources for your watch group, please click HERE. Or if you would like to contact the South Burlington Police Department regarding Neighborhood Watch, please contact: