Neighborhood Watch is undoubtedly one of the oldest and most well-known crime prevention programs in history. While the modern day concept of program rose to prominence in the late 1960s in response to an increasing burglary rate, the roots of Neighborhood Watch can actually be traced all the way back to the days of Colonial settlements, when night watchmen patrolled the streets.
Since its beginnings, Neighborhood Watch has grown from an “extra eyes and ears” approach to crime prevention to a much more proactive, community-oriented endeavor providing a unique infrastructure that brings together local officials, law enforcement, and citizens for the protection of their communities. Today’s Neighborhood Watch programs incorporate activities that not only address crime prevention issues, but also restore pride and unity to a neighborhood. It is not uncommon to see members of Neighborhood Watch groups participating in community cleanups and other activities that strive to improve the quality of life for community residents.
In addition, the adoption of community policing by local law enforcement agencies has contributed to a resurgence in Watch groups over the years. Neighborhood Watch fits nicely into the framework of law enforcement/community partnerships, and Neighborhood Watch meetings provide a useful forum for airing neighborhood problems and practicing problem-solving techniques.
Milton Police Department has started the first USA On Watch program that is supported by Citizen Corps in Delaware. In addition to participating as a Neighborhood Watch Program, they also have become involved in Community Emergency Response Team and Volunteer In Police Service training.