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How Neighborhood
Watch Operates

In This Section
What is Neighborhood Watch? | How Neighborhood Watch Operates | What You Can Do | Other Neighborhood Watch Activities | Observation | Suspicious Activities | Obtain Details About the Suspect | Describing the Vehicle | Calling the Police | Dialing 911

Neighborhood watch operates in two basic ways. The Neighborhood “Watchers” (the citizens involved in Neighborhood Watch) carefully watch and observe their neighborhood, immediately notifying the police of any suspicious or criminal activity. In addition, members utilize crime prevention measures to make it much more difficult for criminals to perpetrate crime within their community.

How Neighborhood Watch OperatesWhat Does Neighborhood Watch Cost?

There is no cost to join the Parkersburg/ Wood County Neighborhood Watch program. The Parkersburg Police Department provides street signs for every chartered Watch Group. Other signs or decals which you may want to place on your house or street cornets may be purchased online at a nominal cost. You may wish to obtain other equipment such as spotlights, binoculars, flashlights, notebooks, crime prevention information, cell phones, CB or other walkie-talkies, all to strengthen your Neighborhood Watch Group. It is suggested that those members of the community who can afford to purchase such equipment do so and perhaps could share the use of the equipment with other Group members. Those members who are not in a position to make such purchases could aid the watch program in other voluntary capacities. Neighborhood Watch is very economical and a highly efficient way to protect your neighborhood against crime.

Who May Participate in Neighborhood Watch?

Any law-abiding citizen within a community can participate in Neighborhood Watch. Citizens involved in Neighborhood Watch are adults, children, teenagers, middle-aged, and senior citizens. No age group is exempt from crime nor the responsibility of preventing it. Neighborhood Watchers are from all walks of life: housewives, blue collar workers, business owners, professionals, retirees, and students. In short, the Neighborhood Watch is the total community. Neighborhood Watch knows no color, religion, nationality, gender or gender identity, or economic dividing lines. Neighborhood Watch is citizens working together to make their community a better and safer place to live.

When Does Neighborhood Watch Occur?

Crime can occur any time and anywhere, which means that Neighborhood Watch must be in effect 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Neighborhood Watchers are always aware of activities in their neighborhood day and night. Neighborhood Watch Programs can help during special situations or events in the community.

How Did Neighborhood Watch Start?

Watching our for out neighborsEarly in 1970, a concerned citizen named Ellie Wegner became outraged when a close neighborhood friend of her was raped. She organized a group of neighbors to see what could be done to help this victim. At her first meeting, forty people form the neighborhood showed up. Many of these people had lived as neighbors, but had never met. Though differing from each other in many ways, they each had a central concern — making their neighborhood a safe place to live. At the next Ellie Wegner meeting, this group was expanded by even more concerned citizens. What emerged from these meetings was the important concept of neighbors watching out for and caring for each other. Each member of the community could look out for suspicious activities in their assigned area of the neighborhood. If they observed any suspicious behavior, or if a fellow citizen was in need of help, someone was there to telephone the police for immediate aid.