National Neighborhood Watch

A Division of the National Sheriffs' Association

Crime prevention through neighborhood cohesiveness and collaboration.


How to Start A Neighborhood Watch Group in 5 Easy Steps

Click here to view and download our infographic, How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Group.

Recruit and Organize as many neighbors as possible

It is wonderful that you are taking the steps to start a Neighborhood Watch group in your neighborhood. The first step is talking to your fellow neighbors about starting a group.

Contact your local law enforcement agency and schedule a meeting

The next step is contacting your local law enforcement agency. Invite them to meet with your group at a time and place convenient for your Watch Group. It is essential for your group to work in collaboration with law enforcement because Neighborhood Watch is a cooperative effort.

Discuss community concerns and develop an action plan

If law enforcement is unavailable to come to the first meeting you might want to have a meeting to discuss the concerns and issues in the neighborhood. Your group should create a plan on how to work towards lessening the impact of the top 3 concerns of neighbors.

There are wonderful resources that you can use to guide you. Become a National Neighborhood Watch Member to gain access. Click here to join today. 

Create a communication plan

It is important to decide what type of communication will work for your watch group - meetings or social media or both. Our publication on Advances in Technology Take Watch Groups to the Next Level will help you to understand what resources are out there.

Take Action: Hold Meetings and Events

Neighborhood Watch Toolkit has a number of wonderful training topics and meeting ideas that can be useful to your group.


Additional Resources

How to Start a Neighborhood Watch in 5 Easy Steps [Download]

Partnerships for a Safer Community: Neighborhood Watch Citizens Guide (COPS Office publication) [Download]

What is Neighborhood Watch

Who is Involved?

Organizing Your Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch Meetings

Neighborhood Watch Skills

What are some of the benefits of starting a Watch Group?

  • Partnerships with Law Enforcement and your Neighbors
  • Reduction in Crime
  • A More Secure and Better Prepared Hometown
  • A More United Community
  • Improved Communications