Lead Balloon

Neighborhood Watch
August 14, 2007, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I remember when I was a kid, there was a push to fully integrate this “Neighborhood Watch” program in our particular neighborhood, and I assume neighborhoods all around. You’ve seen the signs like these – here and here. I’m not sure which organization started it.

I’m sure before they put the signs up, every house in the neighborhood got a pamphlet or a door-to-door description of just what it meant to live in a neighborhood with a “Neighborhood Watch” program. I’m sure people slept more soundly for a little while after that program went into effect. Knowing that their neighbors would certainly call the police or other authorities if any suspicious activities were taking place while you were sleeping or out of town…

Well I noticed as I was driving into our neighborhood the other day that we also have a “Neighborhood Watch” sign. And it caused me to pause and ask myself a few quick questions:
– What the heck is Neighborhood Watch? Am I a citizen on patrol?
– How old is that sign? I can barely read it. It’s hidden behind a tree limb!
– Do they really think that sign deters crime and violence?
– Do I even know the names of my neighbors?

I just wonder how many of these signs are still up across the country, and I wonder if there’s been any real return on investment measured from the signs or the program in general. I think it might be a good idea to take the signs down, recycle them or something. I would imagine that local governments don’t even have this program on their radars. I only remember it because I can remember the signs going up in our neighborhood as a child…What about people who have no idea or recollection of the start of this program?

I have a sneaky feeling that criminals don’t drive into our neighborhood and think, “I’m not going to break into any of these houses…they’re got Neighborhood Watch!” I think you have to actually live in a gated community these days to truly deter the criminals.

And, I apologize…But now that I’ve brought this to your attention, you’re going to be noticing the signs more often. OR – maybe you will feel more comfortable calling the cops when you see some suspicious behavior! Maybe not.


1 Comment so far
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yeah…i still see those signs on light posts around here. some look like their from 1987. there are these new “Meth Watch” signs all over the place. not sure what that is all about…but i’m sure that all of the meth going on and it’s effects probably accounts for about 62% of the crime around here.

Comment by sam

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