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Neighborhood Watch

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How Neighborhood Watch Works

Neighborhood Watch is a program designed to build community in neighborhoods by organizing and involving individuals and their families in united crime prevention efforts. When neighbors take the responsibility to build and maintain cohesive neighborhoods, those neighborhoods are more likley to identify and report crimes. To report suspicious behavior and are generally less vulnerable to crime. Neighborhood Watch programs are often created when residents notice chronic problems and/or increases in crime and suspicious activities in their neighborhood. However, it is beneficial to organize one as a proactive measure.

When you start a Neighborhood Watch group, you will get to know your neighbors better. In a short time, everyone will know the working habits of their neighbors - who has dogs, how many children in the family, what cars people own. When you know these things, it becomes easier to spot suspicious people and identify vehicles that are not normally in the neighborhood.

If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch program in Cambridge please call the Cambridge Police Department at 763-689-9567 and speak with Sergeant Shawn Machin.

The Goals of a Neighborhood Watch Program

  • To reduce crime and the fear of crime
  • To ensure a prompt and effective response to crime and livability problems
  • To promote positive communication and relationships within neighborhoods

Neighborhood Watch is not:

  • A vigilante group
  • A 100% guarantee that crime will not occur in your neighborhood
  • A program designed for participants to undertake personal risks to deter crime

Types of Neighborhood Watch Programs

Neighborhood Watch
This watch group refers to traditional housing, residence, and streets. Residents of the home can include renters or home owners. Single businesses within a housing neighborhood can be included.

Apartment Watch
This watch group refers to multi-family housing which includes but is not limited to duplexes, apartments, condos, and other forms of vertical housing establishments. Apartment watch must include active residents and be tenant sponsored. Management is encouraged to support and assist these groups.

Park Watch
This watch group refers to households and businesses who have direct view of any City park. Frequent patrons of park who may not live in the area are also invited to participate in Park Watch. They work as a neighborhood watch in coordination with the Parks Department’s Park Rangers program and other public safety agencies.


Resources for creating and maintaining a Neighborhood Watch program: