Neighborhood Watch is one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear. Neighborhood Watch fights the isolation that crime both creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the community they serve.
Any member of the community can join - young and old, single and married, renter and home owner. The members learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report activities that raise their suspicions to the police department. A watch group can be formed around any geographical unit: a block, apartment, park, business area, public housing complex, or office. Watch groups are NOT vigilantes. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors.
Neighborhood Watch helps build pride and serves as a springboard for efforts that address community concerns.
The mission of the Toms River Police Department is to work with the community and other agencies, being innovative and utilizing state of the art technology, to provide efficient police services to educate the public, reduce safety hazards and solve problems in order to preserve life, protect property, maintain human rights and enhance the quality of life in Toms River.
In an effort to fulfill the mission the Toms River Police Department deployed a neighborhood watch program. Under the leadership of Chief Michael Mastronardy the program has developed into a vital link between the police department and the community it serves.
For those residents interested in joining the mission Chief Mastronardy hosts a monthly neighborhood watch meeting on the 1st Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm.
If you don't start a Neighborhood Watch program in your area, perhaps no one will. But once you take these first simple steps you may be amazed at how easy it is to organize the program and what a difference it will make.
* Form a small planning committee. Decide on a date and place for an initial neighborhood meeting.
* Contact as many of your neighbors as possible and ask them if thy would be willing to meet to organize a Neighborhood Watch group in your area.
* Contact the Crime Prevention Unit (CPU) at the Police Department for help in training members in home security and reporting skills, and for information on local crime patterns.
* Select a Neighborhood Watch coordinatior and block captions who are responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to members.