Group & Leader Duties

Groups & Leaders

A successful Community Watch group will have clearly defined roles for leaders and group members. The following guidelines will help to define roles and duties for your Community Watch Group.

Chairperson Role

  • Makes arrangements for meetings and crime prevention training programs.
  • Reports to block captains all information received from crime prevention officer.
  • Receives and reports all information from block captains or members to the crime prevention officer.
  • Furnishes every member of the program with an up-to-date list of names, address, phone numbers, and vehicle information of all residents in the community.
  • Furnishes every member with an up-to-date list of senior citizens and a list of agencies available to help these people in an emergency.
  • Keeps in touch with crime prevention officer.

Block Captain's Role

  • Assists the chairperson in passing information to and from the members of the program on your block.
  • Keeps in touch with the chairperson.

Officer's Role

  • Keeps the Community Watch chairperson informed about any new materials.
  • Attends meetings in the community and share with the people information about burglars working in and around the area.
  • Surveys homes or businesses at the request of the owners and suggest ways to better secure their property.
  • Identifies and checks out any license number reported by a member of a Community Watch program. Reports findings to the chairperson of the program.
  • Reports to the chairperson of the program (in writing) as often as possible showing all break-ins or attempted break-ins in the area and any information about a vehicle used.

Duties of Members

As a Community Watch member, it is your job to help keep yourself, your family, and neighborhood safe from crime. There are some simple things you can do to help:

  • Engrave your possessions with your North Carolina driver's license number and make a written inventory.
  • Take photographs of jewelry, silver, antiques, art, and any additional items you do not engrave.
  • Keep a copy of your inventory and photographs in a deposit box or somewhere away from your home.
  • Update your inventory regularly.
  • Watch out for all vehicles, not just vans and trucks. Passenger cars, expensive, and inexpensive, are also used by thieves.
  • Be prepared to obtain the license number of a suspicious vehicle. Keep a pencil and paper in the car. If you see a prowling car in your neighborhood, take down the license number. If necessary, follow the car and write down a general description of the vehicle and its occupants. Mark the location, time and date for general reference should this information be need again. Ask your children to be alert for suspicious vehicles while they are out and around the neighborhood. Patrol the area whenever you leave and return home. Street activity is a very good deterrent to crime.
  • Tell your block captains when you are having work done or when you are going to be away from home, even for a short trip, so they can keep an eye on your home while you are away. Become familiar with your neighbors' cars. Any car that does not belong in your neighborhood should be considered a possible suspect.
  • Report suspicious vehicles to your block captains. Do not call law enforcement unless you are reporting an actual crime, suspected crime, or threatening situation.
  • Do not give out any information about your home or family over the phone. Do not tell strangers when you will be away. Be suspicious of anyone you do not know. Do not display your name on a mailbox or plaque. Burglars can phone ahead to make sure your house is empty by simply looking up your name in the phone book. However, do put large house numbers on the mailbox. This helps in locating your home in an emergency situation.
  • Do not advertise that you are living alone. Single women should list their names in the phone directory with the first and middle initial.
  • Never open your doors to strangers. Install a peephole so you can properly identify visitors before opening your door. Do not be afraid to demand proper identification. Put a peephole in your door for your small children.
  • Do not put a name tag on your house keys. Do not give keys to repairmen. Separate auto keys and house keys to avoid duplication. Never leave a key under a doormat, in the mailbox or hanging from a nail. Burglars know all the secret hiding places.
  • Install double cylinder deadbolt locks on all exterior doors six inches above or below the present locks. If you use deadbolt locks when you are home, leave the key in the lock to prevent your house from becoming a firetrap. Sliding glass doors should be secured with a pin-type locking device or "Charlie bar". Window gates and special window locks that can be opened only with a key are effective; however, if you install these locks, leave the key in them when you are at home.
  • Keep garage doors closed and locked. An empty garage is a reasonably good sign the homeowner is away. Lock up any tools that may be used for prying or breaking.
  • While away, make your home look and sound occupied. To create the appearance that someone is home, use a timer to turn lights on an off at normal times. A radio playing adds to the illusion that the home is occupied. Your home's exterior should be well lit. Do not leave blind spots where burglars can hide. When in doubt, a thief usually looks for an easier target.
  • Keep a dog if you can. A barking dog is still one of the most effective burglar alarms. Burglars would rather find another house than hassle with a angry dog.
  • Community Watch is a family program. Young people can be very helpful in making your Watch work effectively. Involve them in all phases of your program. Also, encourage them to take part in crime prevention activities like those sponsored by 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, D.E.C.A., or other youth groups.
  • Stay active and attend meetings to find out what is going on in your neighborhood.