Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch is one of the oldest and best-known crime prevention concepts in North America. In the late 1960s, an increase in crime heightened the need for a crime prevention initiative focused on residential areas and involving local citizens. The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) responded, creating the National Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972 to assist citizens and law enforcement. In 2002, the NSA in partnership with USA Freedom Corps, Citizen Corps and the U.S. Department of Justice launched USAonWatch, the face of the revitalized Neighborhood Watch initiative, which represents the expanded role of watch programs throughout the United States.

USAonWatch empowers citizens to become active in homeland security efforts through participation in Neighborhood Watch groups. Many neighborhoods already have established watch groups that are vibrant, effective, and can take on this expanded role with ease. For neighborhoods without thriving groups, the renewed emphasis on emergency preparedness and response may provide the right incentive for citizens to participate in Neighborhood Watch in their community.