Forming a Watch

Getting started to organize your neighbors on the block requires at least one person on each block willing to knock on some of doors and say something like:

“Hi, I’m your neighbor___, I live at ___. We’re trying to organize a Neighborhood Watch group on our block — is that something you would like to participate in? What I’m doing today is asking each of us to share our contact information with each other — if you would share an email address it would make it much easier, as I will be able to simply email our contact info around, and keep the group informed about how we’re doing on getting a training organized”. Before you start going door to door, let CNW know what you are doing and we will Email you an Excel doc spreadsheet where all you have to do is fill in the blanks.

If one of your neighbors doesn’t have computer skills, you can type or write down your neighbors contact information. You will need to make a copy for every neighbor on the list. Since we don’t leave things in mailboxes (illegal) or leave papers in doors (makes homes look unoccupied) we suggest you either mail or hand deliver the copy to your neighbor. However you do it, sharing your contact information among yourselves is the most important step in setting up your Neighborhood Watch block.

Once the “block training” has taken place, there are certain “levels of participation” that determine the official status of recognition for that block. Based on national standards, CNW will recognize a Block, and a person(s) as Block Captain, when they submit a roster to CNW showing the % trained on their block. If the % of the occupied houses to have at least one occupant attend the training reaches 25%, we designate the block as ‘recognized’ as a “block in progress” working towards the 50% national standard. With subsequent trainings, once the 50% is achieved, the block becomes fully certified. CNW, after reviewing this information, installs a “free” neighborhood watch sign (paid for by CNW) on City of Columbia property, with the option that the block can purchase another sign through CNW (CNW installs this sign as well, typically at the other end of the street).

View the 37 page manual that Columbia Neighborhood Watch uses as a reference guide.