Community Watch

What Is a Neighborhood Watch?

A Neighborhood Watch is an organized effort by concerned citizens to prevent crime and improve the quality of life in their neighborhood. In cooperation with the Alpena County Sheriff's Office, citizens work to safeguard each other's homes and reduce the risk of crime in their community.

History of Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch is undoubtedly one of the oldest and most well-known crime prevention programs in history. While the modern-day concept of the program rose to prominence in the late 1960s in response to an increasing burglary rate, the roots of Neighborhood Watch can actually be traced all the way back to the days of Colonial settlements, when night watchmen patrolled the streets. The modern version of the Neighborhood Watch Program was developed as a result of the multiple requests from sheriffs and police chiefs around the country who were looking for a crime prevention program that would incorporate citizen involvement and address the increasing number of burglaries taking place, especially in rural and suburban areas.

What Do Watch Members Have to Do?

The fundamental purpose of Neighborhood Watch is to prevent crime by being an extra set of "eyes and ears" for law enforcement. Members are instructed if they see suspicious activity not to take action but to report the activity to the police. Members assist police by providing valuable information to help them investigate and apprehend criminals.

How Do We Get Started?

Talk with your neighbors to see who is interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch. Then contact Alpena County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lash at 989-354-9855 to plan an initial Neighborhood Watch meeting. At the initial meeting, Deputy Lash will explain the philosophy of Neighborhood Watch to your neighbors.

If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood, email Deputy Michael Lash or call him at 989-354-9855.