Neighborhood Crime Watch has been a part of crime prevention for nearly 25 years ago. As Shakopee continues to rapidly grow, our population is spread out over a wider area. The Police Department’s calls-for-service have dramatically increased along with the potential for crime.
Neighborhood Crime Watch [PDF] is a cooperative effort between police and citizens to help prevent crimes from occurring. Its focus is at the neighborhood level. Rather than try to prevent crime over the entire City all at once, we concentrate our efforts in a smaller, much more manageable area – your neighborhood. By generating watch groups, we effectively cover the entire city, making it a safer place for everyone.
What Neighborhood Crime Watch requires is for each citizen to become more aware of his or her own neighborhood and call the police immediately to report any suspicious activity. The neighborhood becomes the "eyes and ears" of the Police Department. The Crime Prevention Officer helps teach residents how to better secure their homes, increase personal safety through prevention techniques and prevent thefts at home, work and in the community. One of the benefits of the program is that the relationship between citizens and the police grow. But the greatest advantage is that the neighbors actually get to know each other! Events unrelated to crime prevention often result from these groups. Events such as block parties, holiday celebrations, and neighborhood outings and activities are common benefits of an organized neighborhood.
Anyone can organize a Neighborhood Crime Watch group. The group must hold two official meetings a year, preferably one on Minnesota Night to Unite. The first meeting is informational, talking about the program and the free services offered by the Shakopee Police Department. The second meeting can be about any crime prevention/police-related topic in which the group is interested.
We encourage every neighborhood in Shakopee to organize a Neighborhood Crime Watch. If you are interested in starting a group in your neighborhood, contact the Shakopee Police Department’s Crime Prevention Office at (952) 233-9441.