Neighborhood Watch

You can help prevent crime in your neighborhood! Form a Neighborhood Watch Program.

What Is a Neighborhood Watch Program?

A Neighborhood Watch Program is a network of neighbors coming together to improve the safety and security of their home and neighborhood. A Neighbordhood Resource Officer works with them to provide the information they need. The officer also gives introduction on how to identify suspects and vehicles should the need arise to call the police. The Neighborhood Watch Program is an effective tool because it instructs citizens how to serve as additional eyes and ears for law enforcement. The police patrol your neighborhood but may not recognize suspicious activity obvious to neighborhood residents. Neighborhood Watch groups are usually geographic in nature and should comprise one city block (both sides of the street) or a small group of apartment buildings or townhouses.

How Do I Start a Neighborhood Watch Program?

Talk to your neighbors to determine their interest and willingness to participate in the program. Be sure to inform your neighbors that the program does not involve personal risk or apprehension of offenders. That is the job of law enforcement. Ask your neighbors about convenient times and a location for a meeting. A neighbor's home, school, or a church is usually best. To ensure program effectiveness, participation of 50% of the neighbors on the block is needed. If you have questions or wish to start a program, you may contact the Lawrence Police Department's Neighborhood Resource Officers at (785) 830-7408 or (785) 830-7409.

How Long Will the Meeting Last?

Neighborhood Watch meetings usually last an hour and a half. The crime prevention officer's presentation will last about an hour and then time is allowed for questions and discussion of specific neighborhood concerns. A "Block Captain" is usually elected by the group to maintain communication between members of the group and their crime prevention officer for future meetings. The group may elect to purchase the Neighborhood Watch signs that can be posted at the location designated by the group.

What Happens After the Initial Meeting?

After the initial meeting and the Neighborhood Watch group is formed the effectiveness of the program depends on the involvement of the neighbors. Some groups have annual cookouts or other neighborhood activities during the year. It is recommended that the group convene at least once a year to meet new neighbors and to discuss safety and security concerns.

Please keep in mind that law enforcement cannot do it alone. Put us to work when you see suspicious activity. Let's make our community a safer place to live.

Call the Neighborhood Resource Officers at (785) 830-7408 or (785) 830-7409 to set up a meeting or for additional information!  If you prefer, the officers can also be reached by e-mail at