As a crime prevention program, the Neighborhood Watch was launched in 1972 to bring together the efforts of citizens and members of law enforcement in deterring crimes and making communities safer. With the National Sheriffs’ Association as a sponsor, it was developed in response to growing concern for home security because the number of burglaries at the time was on the rise. It quickly caught on though, with 12% of the US population participating in the Neighborhood Watch in just 10 years after the program was launched.
What is important to note though is that while the program empowers ordinary individuals to keep their neighborhood safe, members of the Neighborhood Watch actually take on more passive roles. This is because they are more taught to identify suspicious activities in the community and report them to the police, functioning like the neighborhood’s comprehensive alarm system. The police in turn are the ones responsible for taking the necessary actions to take care of potential threats to neighborhood safety. While members are more than welcome to know a few self-defense moves, the Neighborhood Watch is not supposed to be armed. (more…)