Crime Prevention

Neighborhood Watch
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Stranger Awareness
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Neighborhood Watch Program

Anyone of us can be a victim of crime. However, there are many things that you can do to reduce your chances of being a victim and prevent crime before it happens.

Neighborhood Watch is a community-based program that has been proven to reduce crime. The program was first sponsored in 1972 by the National Sheriff's Association. Neighborhood Watch unites law enforcement agencies, local organizations and individual citizens in a community-wide effort to reduce crime. It is a remarkably successful anti-crime effort, as participants work together as a true community...neighbor looking out for neighbor.

In Neighborhood Watch...

  • All community residents can take part.
  • Members learn how to make themselves and their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report suspicious activity to the Sheriff's office.
  • Watch groups are not vigilantes. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors.

How to get started....

If you don't start a Neighborhood Watch Group, perhaps no one will.

  1. Start by forming a small planning committee and decide on some tentative dates and times for an initial meeting.
  2. Contact Sgt.Brian Johnson at (763) 684-2366 to finalize your meeting date and arrange for a deputy to attend.
  3. Contact as many of your neighbors as possible and notify them of the initial meeting. To be effective at least 50% of the neighbors in your area should actively participate in the program.
  4. At your first meeting a deputy will be present to give a training session to the group, answer any questions and address specific neighborhood concerns.
  5. At the first meeting you should select a Neighborhood Watch Coordinator and Block Captains who are responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to members.
  6. Establish a "phone tree" to quickly disseminate information to your group.
  7. Meet at least twice a year to maintain interest and address new problems and concerns.

A strong, healthy, and united community is a formidable deterrent to crime. But it can only work if you get involved.

Together, we can reduce the crime problem in your neighborhood and keep our county a safe place to live and raise our families.

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Other Law Enforcement/Safety Links

Especially for Young People

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Stranger Awareness & Safety Tips

Although child abductions by strangers are rare, parents need to take the responsibility to speak with their children about who is a stranger and how the children should respond if confronted.

Parents Should:

  1. Know where your children are and who they are with.
  2. Know the names (both children and their parents), addresses and phone numbers of your children's friends.
  3. Discuss with your child how to react if approached by a stranger, what to do and who to contact.
  4. Put children's names only on the insides of clothing, books, etc. Know what your child is wearing every day.
  5. Instruct children to be polite but not to talk with strangers or tell them their name, address, etc.
  6. Let your children know that it is okay for them to run away from strangers, scream etc., if they feel threatened.
  7. Encourage children to talk with you and tell you what happened. Do not get mad at them for doing something inappropriate but explain to them what could happen and how they should handle the situation next time. Make a game of planning what to do in different situations before something happens.
  8. Make sure children know your full name and theirs, your address and full telephone number, and how to make calls. Explain how to use 911 for emergencies.
  9. Keep up-to-date files on your children, including a recent photo and complete physical description, medical/ dental records, and fingerprints.
  10. Discuss ahead of time what to do in case you become separated while shopping, traveling etc.
  11. Encourage children to travel with siblings and friends and not to walk alone. Pick up your children rather than have them walk alone.
  12. Choose a secret code word to use with your children in case of an emergency. Tell them never to go with anyone who does not know the code word.

If Your Child is Missing:

  1. Notify the Sheriff's Office immediately. After contacting the Sheriff's Department, remain where you are until a deputy arrives. Be prepared to tell where your child was last seen, give a complete description including clothing and any reasons your child may be missing.
  2. Thoroughly check the area where the child was last seen. Call the child's name out loud frequently.
  3. Check with your child's friends.
  4. Check favorite play areas.
  5. Check parks, construction sites, or areas that may attract the interest of your child.
  6. When looking for a child, try to have someone wait at home in case the child returns while you are gone.
  7. If your child has not returned home from school, call the school and the bus company to see if your child got on the bus.

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Vacation Checklist

Before you leave:

  1. Notify the Post Office to hold your mail or arrange with a friend or neighbor to have it picked up daily.
  2. Make arrangements to have your lawn mowed and watered while you are gone (In the winter arrange to have your walk and driveway shoveled). Have someone check daily to remove newspapers and circulars from your doorway and yard.
  3. Take care not to widely announce that you will be out of town.
  4. Have a friend or neighbor place your garbage cans out on the normal pick-up day and then return them promptly after the garbage has been collected.
  5. Take small high value items (jewelry, keepsakes etc.) to your bank and place in your safe deposit box. Deposit extra cash in your bank account.
  6. Repair any broken windows, door locks and window locks.
  7. Move ladders, tools, lawn implements and lawn furniture to your garage or storage shed.
  8. Leave information of your travel plans with a trusted friend/neighbor. Include when you are leaving, where you are going, where you will be staying, when you expect to return, telephone numbers where you may be reached and the license number and description of your vehicle.

The day you leave:

  1. Set your thermostat so that your furnace or air conditioner will maintain a reasonable temperature (80° in the summer and 55° in the winter).
  2. Make sure all gas appliances are in good working order and that the pilot lights are working. Unplug unnecessary appliances.
  3. Turn down the volume control on your telephone so it cannot be heard from the outside.
  4. Lock all doors, windows and sliding glass doors (place wooden piece in slide track to prevent door from opening). Lock your garage door.
  5. Put window shades in the normal daytime positions and make sure that all main floor drapes, shades and curtains are arranged so that neighbors and police can see into your house.
  6. If you are leaving a vehicle in your driveway, make sure that it is locked.
  7. Set your electric timer to turn some lights on and off during the evening hours. Radios/TVs can also be set on timers.
  8. Make sure the last person out locks the door. Then take a walk around the house to check all doors and windows.
  9. Leave your key with a neighbor or relative. Make sure that you have their telephone number.
  10. Notify the Sheriff's Office of your absence.
  11. Do not leave a message on your phone indicating that you are on vacation or out of town.
  12. When you return home notify everyone who has been watching your home that you are back.

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For more information, please contact
Sheriff Joe Hagerty or Chief Deputy Dave Miller
at (763) 682-7622 or email;