Keeping a block watch active
ONCE WE HAVE A BLOCK WATCH STARTED, HOW DO WE KEEP IT GOING?
We encourage Block Watch members to get together at least once a year, on a formal or informal basis, to maintain acquaintance, update the block map, select a new Block Captain if necessary, and to get to know the new neighbors on the block.
If you decide to have a formal meeting, there are a number of different types of meetings you could have. Here are some ideas:
General Meeting - Examples are Maintenance meetings, where the block meets to refresh themselves with crime prevention tips and the services available to assist in crime prevention efforts. Often, this is just an informal get together with a Crime Prevention Coordinator.
Problem Meeting - If there is a problem on your block (street lighting, a vacant house, traffic problems, etc.) neighbors may want to get together to try and solve this problem. You may want to invite speakers from public or private agencies who can provide information or assistance. Often neighbors get together to discuss projects they can do to improve the neighborhood, (such as a litter pick-up or a graffiti paint out), or projects they can do for each other (such as helping a neighbor prune back the brambles in their yard).
Emergency Preparedness Meeting - Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare (SNAP) is the city's program to assist residents in their efforts to Get Ready, Get Connected and Get Strong for any potential emergency. SNAP is a simple and flexible process designed to help neighborhoods create plans that are specific to the neighborhood needs. You and your neighbors can help each other become prepared by organizing together. Contact the Office of emergency Management at (206) 233-5076, email at SNAP@Seattle.gov or visit the website: www.seattle.gov/emergency/programs/snap/
Agency Meeting - An example is a meeting where you learn about other agencies and organizations which are available to help you and your neighborhood. The Fire Department, City Light and other agencies have educational or informational programs they can present to a group.
Community Meeting - Often, there are issues that impact an entire community, not just a block. In these cases, many Block Watches have gone to the surrounding neighborhoods to communicate with other Block Watches and generate a community meeting to address these concerns. This could be an 'Agency' or 'Problem" meeting, but it involves more than one block.
Annual Night Out - Night Out is an annual event, usually held on the first Tuesday in August, where neighborhoods show their active involvement in Block Watch and Crime Prevention by turning on their porch lights early in the evening, getting together as a block or neighborhood, and possibly even have a party. Several blocks have had block-wide picnics, potlucks, barbecues and, quite literally, block parties. This is a fun way to keep the block going and meet your new neighbors at the same time. For more information, please visit the Night Out section.
For additional information and support for your block watch, please contact the Crime Prevention Coordinator for your area.