Neighbor Watch

Neighborhood Watch Background.

Neighbor Watch is one of the country's oldest and most effective crime prevention programs, bringing citizens together with law enforcement to deter crime and make communities safer.

Sponsored by National Sheriff's Association (NSA), Neighborhood Watch can trace its roots back to the days of colonial settlements, when night watchmen patrolled the streets. The modern version of Neighborhood Watch was developed in response to Sheriffs and Police Chiefs looking for a crime prevention program involving citizens and addressing increasing burglaries.

I believe it takes law enforcement and citizens to keep our county safe.
Sheriff Michael Kirn

Launched in 1972, Neighborhood Watch counts on citizens to organize themselves and work with law enforcement to keep a trained eye and ear on their communities.  Neighborhood Watch works because it reduces opportunities for crime; it doesn't rely on altering or changing the criminal's behavior or motivation.

Years ago, I remembered hearing about a citizen watching someone pull into her neighbor's driveway.  She watched them load various items into the truck/trailer and thought the neighbors must be moving.  They were being burglarized!  My point, we need to know our neighbors.  I believe it takes law enforcement and citizens to keep our county safe.

Please email to organize a Watch Group or join an existing one.  We will help arrange relevant programs and assist with the start-up.  I believe the Phelps County Sheriff's Department is critical to a Watch group's success.

Sheriff Michael Kirn

Neighborhood Watch Tips.

  • Hold regular meetings to help residents know each other and decide on program strategies and activities.
  • Canvass door-to-door to recruit members.
  • Ask people who seldom leave their homes to be “window watchers,” looking out for children and reporting any unusual activities in the area.
  • Physical conditions like abandoned cars or overgrown vacant lots contribute to crime.  Sponsor cleanups on your county road, encouraging residents to beautify the area.
  • Emphasize that Watch groups are not vigilantes and should not assume the role of Deputy Sheriff.  They must immediately ask neighbors to be caring, alert, observant, and report suspicious activity or crimes to the Phelps County Sheriff's Department.