Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and most well-known crime prevention concepts in North America. The program has roots dating back to the days of colonial settlements, when night watchmen patrolled the streets.
In the late 1960s, Neighborhood Watch came to prominence due to an increase in crime rates. The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) saw a need for a neighborhood crime prevention organization and created the National Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972 to assist citizens and law enforcement.
The Chester Police Department will be taking an active role in working with any citizen(s) interested in establishing a Neighborhood Watch Program. Both Deputy Chief Helmers and I will be available to meet with any group interested in the program. We will help members of the group organize, plan meetings, create an effective leadership program, acquire necessary equipment, etc.
We are also available to assist with existing neighborhood watch programs in the future to revitalize the watch group by finding other activities to keep a group engaged. Once the “hot issues” have been addressed many times the group loses interest or motivation to remain proactive. We will assist you in combating complacency by developing paper or e-mail newsletters, a recruitment team for folks that are new to the neighborhood or to expand the geographical area. Other activities include organizing safety fairs, taking identification photos, community clean up days, etc.
Ryan Coffey, Chief of Police
Chester Police Department