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 complex, 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 in educating the public, reducing safety hazards and solving problems in order to preserve life, protect property, maintain human rights and enhance the quality of life in Toms River Township.
In an effort to fulfill this mission the Toms River Police Department developed a neighborhood watch program. Under the leadership of Chief Mitchell A. Little the program has become a vital link between the police department and the community it serves.
For those residents interested in joining the mission, Community Affairs Officer Ralph Stocco hosts a monthly neighborhood watch meeting at Police Headquarters 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. 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 they would be willing to meet to organize a Neighborhood Watch group in your area.
- Select a Neighborhood Watch coordinator and block captions who are responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to members.
- Contact Community Affairs Officer Ralph Stocco at firstname.lastname@example.org for help in training members in home security and reporting skills, and for information on local crime patterns.