Seattle.gov Home Page
Seattle.gov This Department
Business in SeattleLiving in SeattleVisiting SeattleCity ServicesCity Departments
Contact Us at (206) 684-2489, TTY Dial 7 1 1
Seattle Police Department - Home Page
SPD Home / Safety and Prevention / Block Watch / Block Captain Responsibilities

Block captain responsibilities

WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BLOCK CAPTAIN?

The block watch captain, or sometimes a Block Contact, serves as a primary point of contact between the crime prevention programs of the police department and the neighbors on the block.  This Block Contact or Bock Captain takes on the responsibility for maintaining and updating the Block Watch Contact list or map and is the primary point of contact to whom the police will send information and alerts.  The captain/Contact will be asked to distribute that information to the rest of the block.  These responsibilities can be shared on a block by a co-captain. 

The Seattle Police Department does not disclose the names of block watch participants, Block Captains, Co-Captains or Block Contacts to anyone for any reason unless we have been given expressed permission by the individual to give out their individual contact information.

WHAT IF I CANNOT CONTINUE AS A BLOCK CAPTAIN?

If you find you are no longer able to continue as a Block Captain, we ask that you find a replacement in your block and pass that information onto the Crime Prevention Coordinator responsible for your geographic area.  If you are unable to find a replacement, please pass that on as well.

WHAT ARE MY INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITIES WHEN IT COMES TO BLOCK WATCH?

As we stated above, block watch really boils down to two commitments

  • A commitment to be concerned about your neighbor's property and well being as well as your own.
  • A commitment that when you see suspicious activity, you will take action by calling your neighbors and 9-1-1. 

As individual members of the block watch, there are other things we encourage you to do that will strengthen you block watch.

First, be alert.  Pay attention to those things happening in your neighborhood.  As we stated above, Interact and communicate with your neighbors.  As we stated above, the more you interact with each other, the more you are observant and engaged, the better able you are to identify those things that are unusual, out of place and suspicious:  When you see each other on the street, acknowledge each other, wave and say “hi.”  When you see people you don’t know on the street, acknowledge them and say “hi” as well.  This lets the person know that they have been seen and you acknowledge their presence.  If they are there or legitimate purposes, this feels welcoming.  If they are there for illegitimate purposes, it puts them on notice that they have been seen and can be identified if they engage in criminal or suspicious behavior.  As most criminals do not want to draw attention to themselves, a simple acknowledgement that the neighborhood is paying attention and the person has been seen gives them the feeling that if they do something unsavory on that block, chances are good that police will be called.  Often, that is enough to deter some criminal behavior

Second, make your own home security improvements:

  • Lock your doors and windows whenever you leave home, even if it is for a short time.
  • Update security by installing deadbolt locks on exterior doors and additional locks on vulnerable windows.
  • Light up the front and back entryways at night, whether you are home or not!  Consider motion sensor lights for the rear areas of your home.
  • Be sure your house address is visible from the street.
  • Keep tools and ladders in a locked storage shed or garage.
  • Let trusted neighbors know when you are going to be away for extended period so they can keep an eye out for your home.  Also let them know if someone will be staying at the house while you are gone.

Third, welcome new neighbors and invite them to join the block watch.

Also, consider taking a turn as block captain or Co-Captain. You can also volunteer to host your annual Night Out get together..

 
SPD Badge
SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Headquarters: 610 5th Avenue,
Seattle, WA 98124-4986
Site Disclaimer: The Seattle Police Department's website was developed to provide general information. Data contained at this location is generally not reviewed for legal sufficiency. SPD documents displayed are for reference purposes only. Their completeness or currency are not guaranteed. Links or references to other information or organizations are for reference only and do not constitute an endorsement.