10 Steps and you can launch your neighborhood's Neighborhood Safety Watch Program
NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY WATCH PROGRAMS INITIATED/ LIVE
Find your neighborhood map below NOTE: The 50+ neighborhood watch programs initiated by Councilmember Kumar can be found by scrolling down and you can see specific zone maps
TEN STEPS TO SUCCESS: A TYPICAL NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY WATCH PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION
#1 A KICK-OFF MEETING IS HELD: Neighborhood Meeting held with Councilmember Rishi Kumar and Neighborhood Safety Captains (at least 2) and Zone Block Captains identified at this meeting. After the meeting, Rishi sends the following to the Neighborhood Safety Captains: 1. A summary of the meeting and reference links and 2. The framework of the Neighborhood Safety Watch program that explains the details of the process #2 NEIGHBORHOOD COMMUNICATION SETUP: A Neighborhood wide email group is established by the Neighborhood Safety Captains (if one does not exist). They then email the neighborhood a status update from the meeting and the next steps to establishing the Neighborhood Safety Watch program, using the email from Rishi - step 1 above. #3 DIVISION INTO ZONES: Neighborhood Safety Captains divide the neighborhood small chunks called "zones" or blocks, with each zone being led by a Block Captain. A few Block Captains are lined up based on step 1 volunteers. We can now see missing Block Captains in the neighborhood zone map. The Neighborhood Safety Captain provides this zone map to all the Block Captains. #4 RECRUIT BLOCK CAPTAINS: Neighborhood Safety Captains now focus on recruiting Block Captains to fill the gaps in the zone map. This is likely the most difficult task so far. Once we have all block captains identified and ready, publish the zone map online and have it available to the neighborhood by sending an email. #5 MEETING #2 (WITH BLOCK CAPTAINS)- Neighborhood leaders now meet with Block Captains, answer questions and get their support to move forward. Block Captains are ready to collect the required information (name, email, phone #s etc) from their zone neighbors using the zone template - this will help with communication. #6 BLOCK CAPTAINS BUILD THEIR ZONE CONTACT LIST: Block captains have collected information from their zone, compiled the directory and Neighborhood leaders have obtained the zone list from ALL the BLOCK CAPTAINS. #7 ZONE COMMUNICATION: Block captains have established a communication mechanism for their zone (text or email). #8 MASTER SPREADSHEET/ DATABASE: Neighborhood Safety Captains have built a master spreadsheet from the input data from the Block Captains. subscribed the block emails (from each zone) into the Neighborhood email group. Based on authorization, some of the emails from the Master database (stored encrypted) will be entered into the email group setup in step 2 #9 - GETTING CERTIFIED: Neighborhood Safety Captains next fill the certification template and schedule a meeting with the Sheriff to get certified. #10 - REGISTERING WITH THE CITY: Now that the neighborhood is certified, register the Neighborhood Safety Watch program with the city of Saratoga. Our city next installs a "Neighborhood Safety Watch" sign at chosen spot(s) in your neighborhood. Yes - it is party time! DETAILED STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH is explained at www.RishiKumar.com/safety (search for "Process for a successful Neighborhood Safety Watch launch")
WHAT IS A NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY WATCH PROGRAM?
Neighborhood Watch Program is considered one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear in our neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch Programs forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve.
Neighborhood Watch program was initiated in America in 1972 and is probably one of the oldest and most effective crime prevention programs in the country. We used to have night watchmen in the old days – this seems to replicate that with a contemporary version. This contemporary version does not mean that neighbors are patrolling the neighborhood, but just keeping a keen eye and being vigilant and alert as they are out and about. There is active communication between neighbors when they are gone on vacation. This program brings citizens together with law enforcement to deter crime and make communities safer – there is an active partnership between law enforcement and neighborhoods.
VOLUNTARY PROGRAM Participation in this is voluntary, and if folks are uncomfortable in sharing information, they don't need to - just that they will not be part of the Neighborhood Safety Watch Program - much as we want to include everyone, we have no intentions of forcing anyone into this. Similarly, if we are not able to identify a block captain for any zone, that zone will be excluded from our neighborhood Safety Watch program. As best as we can, we would like to NOT exclude anyone from joining this program
WHY DOES OUR NEIGHBORHOOD NEED A NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY WATCH PROGRAM?
Statistically, launching Neighborhood Safety Watch programs are a proven mechanism to drop crime in America. Why is it effective? It reduces opportunities for crime to occur; it doesn’t rely on altering or changing the criminal’s behavior or motivation, but engaging every citizen and every neighbor towards being more alert and reporting suspicious behavior to the sheriff.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY CAPTAIN/ COORDINATOR?
Responsibilities of a Neighborhood Safety Captain / Coordinator - A Neighborhood Safety Captain/ Coordinator project manages the program for the overall neighborhood. They are the designated Neighborhood Leader. They lead a team of Neighborhood Block Captains to the finish line i.e a Neighborhood Safety Watch sign in your neighborhood, and a much more connected, safer neighborhood. •Setup and governance of Neighborhood Safety Watch • Initiates the first neighborhood meeting to discuss this topic, with the help of an expert on the topic. Informs the neighborhood by printing and dropping flyers inviting neighbors • Represents the neighborhood as a liaison into law enforcement, at city council meetings and also keeps the neighborhood informed by proactive communication •Recruits Block Captains and oversees the distribution of materials and information to the Block Captains, who in turn inform the homes in their group. This chain of command reduces duplication and promotes efficiency and discipline - Hold the Master Neighborhood Directory in a safe place (ideally an electronic copy in an encrypted USB key) - Schedule periodic meetings with block captains and neighbors as needed
SUMMARY: ROLE OF A NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY CAPTAIN A.K.A The neighborhood leader The role entails setup and governance of the Safety Watch program - not very complicated. Includes the following: - Establish communication for the neighborhood. Create an email google group for the neighborhood - and identify a moderator - Divide your neighborhood into various zones - each zone a cluster of homes ~7 to 10 homes in each zone. - Identify / recruit block captains for each zone. See below how to recruit block captains. - Provide the block captains the information needed to establish the program by hosting a meeting at a coffee shop or at your home. - Provide the block captains the templates (docs) needed to collect information from their zone neighbors. - Build the master neighborhood directory using the zone information from each Block Captain. OTHER NICE TO HAVE: - Identify someone who will lead the annual Block Party. Annual Touch point (see the deck above that provides the hows and whys on running your block party) - Make sure we rejuvenate the Neighborhood Safety Watch annually at this block party. Try to meet with the block captains once every 6 months. - Identify someone who can put together a neighborhood web page - ideally a high school student - Identify someone who will lead the Neighborhood Preparedness Initiate. Someone who will get CERT certified, offered by the city of Saratoga's Jim Yoke, once or twice a year
NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY CAPTAINS ESTABLISH NEIGHBORHOOD WIDE COMMUNICATION The first step is create a communication mechanism for the neighborhood. If there does not already exist one, you should consider creating a neighborhood email group (google group) that will be used for communication among the neighbors. This will supplement Nextdoor as not everyone is on Next Door yet. Plus, it is NOT possible to send pointed messages just to our own neighborhood via NextDoor. A neighborhood email group makes sense. Please invite friends and neighbors to join the email group once you have it. Our suggestion is to maybe create a flyer that has details about this email group and distribute it around the neighborhood. Connecting the whole neighborhood via this email group would be great and help facilitate effective, interactive communication. Using an app such as REMIND to send text messages to everyone in the neighborhood is also a good idea
NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY CAPTAIN BUILD A NEIGHBORHOOD MASTER DIRECTORY A Neighborhood Safety Captains compiles information (zone directory) they receive from Block Captains into one single Master Directory. You can have each block captain work with their neighborhood to collect their specific zone info via Google Form - Copy this Google form http://tinyurl.com/BlockCaptainForm, rename the copied google form with the name of the block captain and email each block captain a link. You will have to follow this step a few times = to the number of block captains needed for your neighborhood. NOTE: Do not send the original Google form link - but send the new link you created once you have copied the form at the link - Alternately, Block captains can skip the Google form if it is too complicated and you can have them download the TEMPLATE FOR BLOCK CAPTAIN (scroll down below to find it) that can be then sent to their immediate zone neighbors - Each Block captain will request information from the neighbors of their zone and will follow-up until they have the information back from almost all the neighbors in the zone. Some neighbors may not wish to participate which is OK. Once Block Captains have all neighbors info compiled, they will share it with all the neighbors in that zone. This doc will be used to communicate between the neighbors of each zone and for each neighbor to have information about the neighbors in his or her zone. Block captains will email their zone directory to you (the Neighborhood Coordinators) once completed by each neighbor ALTERNATE METHOD- A google form for the whole neighborhood NOTE: USE THIS ONLY IF YOU HAVE 80% OF YOUR NEIGHBORS ON THE NEIGHBORHOOD EMAIL GROUP i.e Neighborhoods that have already rolled out the Safety Watch and you are just looking to compile an updated neighborhood directory This is an alternate to block captains collecting the info in bits and pieces. Please click on this url http://tinyurl.com/yourdirectory Copy the form generated, add the names of the block captains (customize it to suit your neighborhood) and then email your neighborhood with a request to submit their information Each Block Captain will provide their finished zone directory to the Neighborhood Safety Captain. The Neighborhood Safety Captain will use this to build the Master Spreadsheet for the neighborhood and also subscribe the emails from this list into the neighborhood email group (as long as they have permission to do so) The Master Directory will be stored on an encrypted USB key and ideally each Neighborhood Safety Captain will have a copy
A NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY CAPTAIN RECRUITS NEW BLOCK CAPTAINS Probably the most difficult task in the role of a Neighborhood Safety Captain is ensuring that you have all the block captains in place. You likely already have a few block captains signed-up at the initial Neighborhood Safety Watch Program launch meeting. That is a great start! After you have broken down your neighborhood into smaller zones, identify the gaps where you are seeking to fill block captains. Below are a few approaches to recruiting block captains to fill these gaps, categorized based on ease of effort
Post an email on the neighborhood group asking for help. Push the buttons, how this will help the neighborhood, make the message compelling. Design a compelling flyer and inviting neighbors by knocking on doors and dropping flyers
Organize a meeting with the block captains that have signed up so far, ask them for pointers to recruit their friends
Knock on doors at streets where you are seeking to recruit block captains and ask folks to point you to the active neighbor who would be willing to step up
Call friends in your neighborhood and ask for pointers.
Distribute flyers on the streets you are seeking to recruit block captains. Scroll down below to download the template of the proposed flyer. It is a Powerpoint file. You can modify this to suit your message, print and drop off the flyers. Remember, do not place flyers in mailboxes, that is not legal. Try to have face to face conversations
Ask people to subscribe to the neighborhood email group. Increase subscription and use the neighborhood email group, posting messages asking for volunteers
Organize a Neighborhood wide party. Have folks sign-up to join the Neighborhood email group. Announce the Neighborhood Safety Watch initiative and get block capatins to sign up. Make sure you have identified the gaps you are looking to fill before this meeting
Here are two types of flyers that you can populate with details, print and drop off at all homes in the neighborhood.
The role of the Block Captain is quite simply stated to collect names, emails and phone numbers from neighbors that belong in their zone (5 to 10 neighbors). This is NOT a major time commitment. The role entails: • Compile a zone directory (explained below) and distribute it to neighbors within that zone.We suggest going door to door to get the neighbors to understand the program and submit their information • Setup a communication mechanism using the information collected in the zone directory (email or text) • Work with neighbors within their zone and derive an informal structure to watch out for each other’s property (example - setup an email alias, provide the email list to the other neighbors) • Inform the zone (via phone or email) about law breaking activities that have occurred in the neighborhood • Make sure that the established structure is working, neighbors are keeping each other informed of planned vacations • Identify a backup • Attend neighborhood-safety meetings as needed Below are a few docs that can be downloaded by the block captain to get their zone established and ready for the safety watch program.
TEMPLATES FOR THE BLOCK CAPTAIN Word doc is provided by Block Captains to their zone neighbor to collect their specific info Excel spreadsheet is filled by the Block Captain (using input from Word doc) and emailed to the Neighborhood Safety Captain once done. Neighborhood Captain's will store the master directory on an encrypted USB key and protected
A Block Captain can either use the above word document to collect information from their zone neighbors or they can use the Google Form provided to them by the Neighborhood Safety Captain
ANNOUNCING THE GOOGLE GROUP AND SAFETY WATCH
Once you have the neighborhood safety watch established, Neighborhood leaders should build awareness of this effort with other neighbors who are not yet integrated with this program, and also those who are NOT subscribed into the neighborhood email group. Best way to create awareness is by knocking at doors, having conversations and dropping flyers at every home in the geographical zone. You can use the word doc below, modify the template to meet your needs
TEMPLATE TO GET CERTIFIED Over 50 neighborhoods have used this template to get certified OCT 19 2016: SARATOGA'S CITY WIDE NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY WATCH MEETING Neighborhood Watch Joint Meeting – October 19, 2016 All residents, including new and existing Neighborhood Watch groups, are invited to attend a meeting with the City Council and Sheriff's Office on October 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the Saratoga Senior Center. Register your Neighborhood Watch group with the City, learn about Neighborhood Watch and get safety tips, and hear the Neighborhood Watch success stories of your fellow community members. Please RSVP by October 14 to debbieb<at>saratoga.ca.us or 408.868.1216. Posted 9/8/2016
See the Registry link below, how to get yourself registered with the city of Saratoga
Below is also a template to get your neighborhood safety watch program certified
CERTIFYING YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY WATCH PROGRAM An annual Neighborhood Watch meeting is organized by the city to allow multiple neighborhoods to certify their Neighborhood Safety Watch programs en masse. Neighborhood Safety Captains should definitely attend this one. Attendance for Block captains + neighbors is optional. If you are not able to be there in person - please ensure your neighborhood is represented by someone from your neighborhood. To get your neighborhood certified - here is what you need to bring to show to the city of Saratoga Sheriff team at the designated time of the meeting 1. Contact info for your neighborhood i.e Names, Emails and phone numbers of all the Neighborhood Safety Captains 2 Your specific Neighborhood Safety area map 3. Your various safety zones breakout 4. Names of Block captains for each of the zones 5. Any other structure that you have setup for your neighborhood eg. Email group, webpage, annual block party etc You do NOT need to bring a powerpoint slide deck to present Please download the template below - fill it up, print it and have a Neighborhood leader bring it to the meeting with the sheriff NOTE: Your neighborhood folder will likely be turned over to city of Saratoga staff for record keeping and other purposes. This information will only be provided to our city staff / sheriff and accessible by them, and data that will be protected. Finally, once you are certified, make sure you register with the city by entering your information through the registry program - see below
REGISTRY PROGRAM: NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY WATCH PROGRAM Our city has created a page to allow Neighborhood Watch groups to register online The registration form can be accessed from the City website: www.saratoga.ca.us/stayingsafe
ARE YOU TRYING TO FIND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY WATCH PROGRAM? Step 1: Locate your neighborhood and subscribe to the email group Step 2: To get connected to your Neighborhood Leader, email the following: Isha Mehrotra <email@example.com>, Rohan Mehrotra <Rohan200m@gmail.com> and cc rkumar<at>saratoga.ca.us Questions? IF YAHOO GROUP: go to this url http://yahoo.com/groups/<Name> IF GOOGLE GROUP: go to this url http://groups.google.com/group/<Name>
STATUS LIVE #1 DEHAVILLAND TRIANGLE Email group: firstname.lastname@example.org HOME PAGE: http://dehavillandcox.weebly.com/ NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY CAPTAINS: Clark Miller and Rishi Kumar
#2 SARAGLEN Email: email@example.com #3 PRIDES CROSSING NORTH Email group: firstname.lastname@example.org #4 PRIDES CROSSING EAST Email group: email@example.com #5 PRIDES CROSSING SOUTH Email group: firstname.lastname@example.org