Meetings of the whole group should be held at least once a year. They can be held more often if there is information to be distributed and discussed, a problem to address, or a special event to be planned and held. The key to keeping a Neighborhood Watch group active is maintaining interest over time and communicating with members.  


Definition: What is the problem? Some examples are car break-ins and thefts, home burglaries, speeding, unlicensed solicitors, graffiti, panhandling, and trash dumping.

Analysis: What are the common elements of the problem? They could be time of day, location, kinds of offenders and victims, kinds of targets, access to targets, methods of defeating security measures, etc.

Response: How can the problem be addressed? What can be done to prevent recurrence or reduce the damage if it does recur? What agencies or organizations are responsible and should help in solving the problem? What are the best things to do for short- and long-term results?

Assessment: Did the problem go away? Was the damage reduced? If not, what else should be done? 


After the group is formed their duties will depend on their organizational skills and interests, and the nature and objectives of the group. The following are some possibilities

  • Recruit new members

  • Maintain a membership list and area map with home addresses

  • Keep members informed about area crime and disorder

  • Try to see group members frequently

  • Establish and maintain phone number and e-mail address trees that group members can use to contact residents in an emergency

  • Develop an area activity profile to help members recognize unusual or suspicious activities in the area. This could include vehicle descriptions, work hours, school hours for children, and scheduled services, e.g., gardening

  • Act as a spokesperson for the group

  • Serve as liaison with the SDPD

  • Plan, announce, and facilitate meetings

  • Organize crime prevention activities, e.g., watching homes when residents are away 

Meetings can be scheduled to discuss specific crime prevention or other topics. The SDPD can also provide officers to talk on domestic violence, workplace violence, gangs, child and adult abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, identity theft, landlord/tenant relations, bike safety, homeland security, etc. Check with your CRO first and then call the Speaker’s Bureau at (619) 446-1018 to request a talk. 

Problem Solving



Subsequent Meetings

Neighborhood walks to identify potential crime and disorder problems

Socials, e.g., parties or potluck dinners

Cleaning streets, vacant lots, canyons, parks, etc.

Graffiti paint outs

Fund raising to buy signs, e.g., by collecting recyclables

Bicycle safety and licensing rodeo

Painting address numbers on curbs and alley fences or garages 

Meetings can also be scheduled to address a serious incident in the area, or two or more less-serious incidents of the same type.

Problem solving usually proceeds in the following steps listed below.