A wide variety of participants is needed to launch a
successful Neighborhood Watch program. In this section necessary participants are listed,
along with a description of the kind of support needed from each. As many of you know,
implementing a community-based project requires the interest, cooperation, and support
from many people. But the end result is definitely worthwhile!
Increasing the safety of a neighborhood benefits everyone from children and parents, to
local businesses. Not only does reducing crime in an area increase everyone's quality of
life, but it can also help increase property values.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The local Chamber of Commerce is the ideal organization to coordinate
the program. They should be asked to help build interest in the program by announcing the
program to its members at meetings, and running press releases in newsletters or
membership mailings. (Be sure to check the press release section for samples). The Chamber
of Commerce should also be requested to act as liaison between their members and the local
Police Department. They will need to schedule with the Community Relations Officer of the
Police Department a time to come and talk to their members, (more than one meeting may be
necessary). Once the program is started, Chambers collect and keep track of participants
and schedule training sessions, and issues certificates of completion to participants (a
nice touch!). In addition to training, signage and print material are needed. The Chamber
can contract one of their members to make the magnetic signs and order the cling stickers
with the imprinted logos, and print flyers. Other tasks that Chambers can perform to
increase the success of the program is to create a list of target participants, send
flyers to these targeted businesses and individuals, and alert media sources.
POLICE DEPARTMENT: The Police department will provide a
Community Relations person to explain to participants the need to report crimes and what
is actually a crime. They will explain that if someone cuts you off on the Highway it is
an unfortunate situation but not a crime and to limit phone calls to important things.
Most importantly, they will explain that the participants are the eyes and ears of the
Police, not vigilantes. The Police will also ask participants to have the police
departments phone number programmed into their cellular phones and to only use the 911
feature only for accidents involving injuries and very serious situations. The Police
department will also give certificates to participants once they have completed the
seminar, which will be signed by police chief or local Community Relations Officer.
CITY HALL: City Council members will very likely endorse the
project at a city council meeting and give a proclamation to the President of the Chamber
of Commerce for the Chambers and local businesses service to community. Most cities can
allot at least $2,500.00 towards the project for the signage. Donations for the remainder
can often be obtained from large companies in the area. By announcing it at a city council
meeting the program will receive the publicity it needs to get quality participants.
MEDIA SUPPORT: Local Radio stations are very supportive of
the community. Request that they play public service announcements. Also, you will find
that local newspapers will place flyers in the papers to announce the project, local cable
stations will film participants driving down the street and interview seminar
ORGANIZING CHAIRPERSON: This will be the person who keeps all
the different groups happy and coordinates the program. It is best to have a prominent
volunteer type individual for this, someone who is already known for their community
involvement; maybe even sits on a few non-profit boards and municipal committees. Someone
everyone likes. The Chairperson will be in charge of making great quotes in the media,
organizing participants and volunteers and scheduling meetings. Follow ups, thank you
letters and personal invitations. Also keeping track of all the events and making agendas
and cooperating with neighboring cities who follow this plan later. Other responsibilities
include interfacing with non-profit groups to make sure they can participate, and
contacting Board of Realtors, Rotary, Kiwanis, Optimist, Lions, Elks, clubs etc. In short,
an ombudsman to council people, Mayor and city manager.
TARGET COMPANIES TO PARTICIPATE
|Car Wash Guys Franchisee
Auto Parts Delivery Stores
Carpet Cleaning Companies
Catering Truck Companies
Day Care Centers
Dominos Pizza Franchisee
Garage Door Installers
Hot Dog Vendors
Ice Cream Man
Local Maid Services
Merry Maids Franchisee
|Detail Guys Franchisee
Mobile Dog Groomers
Office Supply Companies
Party Supply Companies
Real Estate Agents
Screen Mobile Franchise
Snap on Tool Franchisee
Snow Removal Companies
Soil Testing Companies
Street Sweeper Companies
Taxi Cab Companies
Uniform Rental Companies
Window Washing Companies
QUASI-GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND UTILITY COMPANIES TO PARTICIPATE
Economic Development Assoc.
Trash and Refuse Companies
United State Post Office
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO ASK TO PARTICIPATE
Code Enforcement Officers
National Guard Armory
Park and Recreation District
Storm Water Program
Water Treatment Plant
Weights and Measures
WHAT DO THESE BUSINESSES, UTILITY COMPANIES AND GOVERNMENT
AGENCIES BRING TO THE TABLE?
cccLet us go through them one by one and discuss the businesses, utility companies and
government agencies and what they can offer. Each business due to their industries, labor
sources, customers, routes, and hours of operation brings another piece to the puzzle.
Please understand nothing in this book is arbitrary. Thousands of hours of conversations,
meetings and thoughts have gone into this project. Law enforcement personnel and the
author have spent considerable time in analyzing these thoughts and have come up with a
Starting from the beginning:
THE CAR WASH GUYS: Car Wash Guys wash cars at offices and residences. One of the most
common crimes is auto break-ins, making Car Wash Guys one of the best set of eyes around.
Their car wash trucks are in and out of parking lots all the time. Their schedules are
flexible to meet customer demand; it varies a little each day. Their trucks are bright
yellow and attract attention. They are staffed with young men who are always looking for
the next car to wash, scanning parking lots. Driving slowly through neighborhoods looking
for addresses of car wash customers who call in. There are two or three people looking
around while driving around in the car wash truck. They also wash for many fleets in the
town and can help with the initial recruitment. Plus, these franhcisees are required to be
involved in community service projects.
THE DETAIL GUYS: Detail Guys work on cars at car lots, parking structures, park and rides,
and park and flys. They drive around all day and are often parked in a lot for many hours
detailing vehicles. They work on busy car lots near busy intersections and often witness
hit and runs, accidents and questionable activities. They know the youth in the car clubs,
and who is good and who is bad in town. They will know if someone is casing the joint, to
come back later. They always have a scheduling clipboard with them and a pen to quickly
write down a number of a license plate jot down facts on the scene. They detail for
realtors and Movers and Shakers in the town and help by their presence in the group to
smooth over any political nay sayers, or "I didn't think of it so it isn't a good
SNAP-ON TOOL FRANCHISEE: These franchisees drive vehicles filled with expensive tools and
are aware of what someone acts like and body behavior when they are getting ready to steal
something, including their own inventory. These trucks have fancy alarms, and are built
like fortresses to protect the inventory. Tools are one of the most fenced items around.
And they hear things on the street and know who the bad characters are. They hear all the
rumors from the auto industry including information on stolen car parts and tools, and
people having substance abuse problems. Their routes are substantial in auto row,
mechanics areas, auto industrial areas, etc. There franchisees are always willing to
participate and know tons of people who will ask them, "What is that sign on your
truck for?" Great word of mouth advertising for your program.
AIR CONDITIONING COMPANIES: Heating and Air Conditioning Companies often work for
commercial properties on roofs, a great vantage point and totally unexpected. They usually
have many vehicles. They have constant communication. Their owners are usually very
involved in city and civic affairs. They also work in apartment complexes and low income
housing areas where a higher percentage of crimes are committed due to density. They work
in commercial malls and centers. More cars are stolen at regional malls than any other
location and there is lots of shoplifting. They are also in residential neighborhoods of
middle and upper middle class where people are at work and not around to protect their
TAXI CAB COMPANIES: These companies are extremely random in their pick-ups and they are
very good drivers in traffic and able to get a license plate number when necessary. Since
taxi cab companies run 24 hours, they are out at night when more graffiti and thefts
occur. They have many cars, and are constantly in contact with a dispatcher. We have seen
taxi cab drivers catch escapees from low security jail, and help with the information
leading to catching a robbery suspect. They often pick up drunk people at bars and drive
them home. Many situations go down outside bars in the parking lots. They are extremely
visible with their signage on top of the cars. Drivers of these vehicles are very street
smart and are not fooled easily by deception and a good line of bull. They are thinkers
and drive around always observing.
REALTORS: Realtors have a pulse on the community; they know the neighborhoods in the town.
Some real estate offices grid the town by housing tracts, plus 4 zip code or census blocks
and each agent is in charge of a certain area. They often canvass the area and are on a
first name basis with many residences. They know the Home Owners Association directors by
name. They also refer and are in contact with painters, pool service companies,
landscapers, interior decorators, snow removal companies, window washers, contractors,
pool companies, and other various residential companies, which can also serve as part of
the volunteer neighborhood watch program. They often tour or caravan with other realtors
to look at recent listings. In these weekly caravans you might have 4-5 other realtors in
the car learning all about the neighborhood mobile watch program. Realtors know lots of
people and are constantly involved with things around town, their jobs and success depend
PLUMBING COMPANIES: Plumbers are highly paid individuals and tend to know all the income
property owners of the town. These property owners are the movers and shakers who are also
involved in all the philanthropic and political groups in the towns. Plumbers handle many
emergencies and are some of the most randomly scheduled professionals. No one can predict
when or where they will show up next, including themselves. A criminal planning a break in
hates these types of wild cards. Like locksmiths called out to help with lock out
problems, they can be anywhere at any time for anybody. A plumbing company with multiple
trucks can be a great asset. A small company with one truck can also have just as many
contacts around town. Both large and small plumbing companies will be more than happy to
help your program.
SECURITY COMPANIES: They already are in this line of work and have lots of vehicles and
often employ former police officers and military personnel. They have communication,
scanners, and bright lights. They will be glad to join the program simply for the PR
value. This adds numbers to your group. Some security companies have 10 plus vehicles and
with the signs on the back they are advertising your program on all their cars and receive
just as much PR for being involved. We believe this is a great trade and they will also
volunteer to help with the program. It is in their best interest to be involved. If your
program gets too large they may help your program train new recruits since they probably
have former retired sheriffs or police officers on staff or perhaps the company is owned
by a former police chief.
FLOWER COMPANIES: Usually have delivery vans, which deliver to offices and homes. These
vans park in shopping center parking lots at night. This fact helps the center from
break-ins; it makes the criminal think twice. The owners of Flower Shops are involved in
all kinds of things. They are in contact with Human Resource Departments, and executive
administration of large companies around the area. If your group needs money to buy more
Neighborhood Mobile Watch Signs, they would surely have the contact name to get you in the
door. No criminal would ever suspect a Flower Van to be a mobile watch vehicle.
DOMINOS PIZZA FRANCHISEES: Domino's founder in building his company always made it a goal
of his company to help out the community. For this reason nearly all their franchisees
feel obligated to help in good causes. Their franchisees feel a strong commitment towards
those ideals and that is one of the reasons which attracted them to the business in the
first place. Dominos can be a great asset because on Friday and Saturday nights a single
store may deliver 1000 pies a night. 1000 pizzas. WOW! This is a lot of deliveries. You
may find that they need thirty signs, two for each car driven on those nights. Dominos
Pizza will also put a flyer on top of every box of pizza they deliver during the initial
inauguration of the program. This way you will alert thousands of people at their homes
about the new program. Since 10 % of the population are small business owners or self
employed you may find that you will hit a couple of hundred more potential mobile
MERRY MAIDS FRANCHISEES: This maid service franchise is part of Service Master and also
part of Tru-Green Chemlawn, American Home Inspections, and other residential and
commercial service franchises. The Service Master Franchise system's original Founder,
Marion Wade, was quite a great community spirited leader. Although the corporate culture
has changed significantly, you find Merry Maids and Service Master franchisees as
cooperative, helpful and committed. We have had success with them in the past and they
tend to have many crews of cleaners throughout the town.
DAY CARE CENTERS: Day Care Centers have vans and shuttle buses that pick up kids and they
are colorful and happy in their paint schemes. They also know all of the Moms who work at
all the corporations in town. Family and safety are at the top of their agenda. They are
very concerned with the concerns of their clients. Those concerns are of safety. Even if
they feel uneasy about the sign on their vehicles they will participate and leave flyers
in their lobbies. Also remember that many of these day car centers are franchises and
therefore will receive kudos from their franchisors for helping the community.
LOCAL MAID SERVICES: These small businesses drive around and have scheduled routes for
each day of the week. This program is something they will enjoy doing and they will be a
very positive influence on the group. Most of these small business owners are very street
smart and they know what is going on around town, who is doing what, and can easily spot
out suspicious behavior down the street. They will feel very happy to added to your group
and have lots of contacts around town.
TITLE SERVICE COMPANIES: Title services have reps which drive around all day and deliver
documents and collect signatures, mingle with Realtors, and return the information and
drop off literature. They will know which Realtors are most likely to want to join the
program. A title company may have many reps thus many cars driving around helping the
important exposure of the efforts. The title reps are usually GQ type guys and pleasant
looking young women and make great people for your photo ops and press release pictures.
These reps put on more miles than the police officers on their patrol cars.
POOL SERVICE COMPANIES: Most of these small business people have on average 45 pools on
their weekly routes. Some are commercial such as hotels, and apartment complexes, but most
are residential, thus bringing them into many neighborhoods each week. Some pool companies
have up to 70 pools on their routes. This is a maximized route and these are veteran pool
cleaners. A pool person may be in 5-10 different housing tracts or neighborhoods during a
weeks time. They will get a pretty good sense of the areas they work and the kinds of
people that live there, this makes it easy for them to spot something out of place. Pool
Service companies are great for you program, so find as many of these people as you can.
INSURANCE ADJUSTERS: These people travel their territories and randomly go to different
areas depending on what damage has occurred. They may work a three-city area depending on
population size of cities. It does not matter if they travel outside the program's area,
because so do criminals. Criminals are mobile too. They travel to their crimes, remember
that. Insurance adjusters are observers by trade. They look for things out of place, and
work on solutions. This type of daily work activity makes them great for the program, they
tend to observe everything, seldom does stuff get by them. Insurance companies are also
typically community aware companies and rely on this to draw customers. They will sign up
LANDSCAPERS: In middle class America where most families have two bread-winners, the
landscape business has flourished. It is not uncommon for a landscape company to have 10
units on the road. With these companies it is better to have stickers than magnets. They
will lose magnets and you will have to replace them. The Landscape companies are very
active and may hit 12-15 houses a day and up to 100 houses a month. They will have both
commercial and residential customers, so they will be in shopping centers, business parks,
government buildings, parks, golf courses, and housing areas. They are everywhere on a set
schedule and very visible. Try to pick the Landscapers with the best image and the nicest
and cleanest trucks.
HOT DOG VENDORS: You cannot get any closer to grass roots than this. Hot Dog Vendors and
other street vendors sit in one spot and talk to people all day. If they have a sign on
their cart for all to see, you program will benefit greatly. Passers by will learn of the
program and regular customers will often volunteer to join in after a few weeks of seeing
the sign. These types of vendors tend to know a lot of people and can even hand out flyers
to all their customers for a couple of weeks as the program gets going. You will be
shocked how well this works. People use the Hot Dog vendors for advice on their love life,
stock picks, who to vote for and now how we can all help eliminate growth in crime rates.
ICE CREAM MAN: You know the guy who cruises down the street with the music going. This is
a company who can really benefit from the signs on the truck. Parents are always
apprehensive when the ice cream man and any other stranger talks to their kids. The Ice
Cream Man will now be a neighborhood friend, the parents will ask about the sign and the
CATERING TRUCK COMPANIES: These are the guys with the wad of cash that come to your
parking lot at work and sell you snacks and lunch. These are very busy people and it will
be difficult to get them into a meeting for training. Perhaps if the owner of a bunch of
trucks has a meeting all of his drivers will attend and he can put stickers on the
catering trucks. Not Magnetic signs because the trucks are aluminum and the magnets will
not stick. It would be nice to put on three. Put one on back and one on each side. The
side where the door opens put the sticker off to the side so while he is selling you can
still see the sign. Think how many people see this truck in a week. We have not had a
situation where the catering truck company declined to help a program that I know of.
TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES: Look in the phone book, or grab a book of lists printed by The
Business Journal and look at all the transportation companies. They will take the PR and
spread it around their Industry and use the public relations to help their businesses.
That is fine because you will now have many units on the road with your signs, driving
everywhere. It is said in an election that a bumper sticker is worth the same as $200.00
in print media. Imagine what all these signs are worth in free advertising. Plus the
drivers of all these vehicles are in constant contact with their dispatcher and if they
see anything they will call it in. Remember also that the drivers of these vehicles sit up
higher than in regular cars and can see over walls and fences, thus another advantage that
the police do not have yet.
OFFICE SUPPLY COMPANIES: All these companies park their trucks in shopping malls or
Industrial areas and due to Internet sales and delivery they are buying more and more
trucks to supplement their brick and mortar stores. These trucks do have two-way
communication and are happy to participate in the program. After all, less vandalism is
better for their business and their customers also will be happy to see that they are
helping. Also do remember that many of these stores may put the flyers for your program in
the bags of their customers during check out. And many of these stores have copying
services and can even print the flyers for you.
FURNITURE COMPANIES: These stores have delivery trucks that drive to neighborhoods and
deliver furniture to residential customers. These customers will be happy to see the
participation and the neighbors will feel that the delivery is less obtrusive if it has a
neighborhood watch program sign on it. This is an easy one. They are very likely to accept
the offer to help. There may be several furniture companies in town and it would not be
surprising to sign them all up.
CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES: The owners of construction companies will be tough to get to a
meeting, but are more than willing to join the team and help with a look out. Construction
people are also worried about crime due to materials leaving the job sites, vandalism of
job sites and loss of tools out of their trucks. They understand the problems and are more
than willing to get in and help anyway they can. They are a great resource. They tend to
be on the streets early in the mornings and can help you with area coverage in early
hours. They are always on their way to the coffee shops, materials pick up or picking up
workers. They have always been an asset to Watch Teams.
PAINTING COMPANIES: These are usually run by owner operators and have many accounts from
commercial buildings to income properties and residential. Each job lasts a few days to a
week and then they move on to the next job. Of course they run their businesses by
cellular phone from the job sites. It pays for them to know lots of people because it is
mainly a referral type business. You will be doing them a favor by asking the to
participate and they normally will accept with no problem. Also they are the last people
to a job site. So they tend to meet the contractors who are finishing up, carpet
installers, dry wall contractors, and landscape people. All of these are also good
contacts for your program. Since they understand the nature of referrals, they will also
know how to refer more volunteers to the program.
PARTY SUPPLY COMPANIES: These people are always where the action is, town get -togethers,
grand openings, and big family events. They are a great resource for your program and
always willing to help. They come to volunteer group meetings with great attitudes; this
is a major bonus. The upbeat attitude will help in the development of the program. They
will be good resources too when it is time to throw a party for the group. They also have
delivery vans with big pictures on the sides of happy things like giant balloons, to
attract attention, thus many people look at the trucks and then see the magnet sign for
the neighborhood mobile watch program. Party supply companies are very visible.
WINDOW WASHING COMPANIES: These companies work in a very low cost, high volume business
and know everybody in town, and certainly nearly every business owner or manager on their
routes. At $1-2 per pane, they must do a lot of windows to make money. They leave their
vehicles in parking lots all over town for 20 minutes to 2 hours and move on. Some do
residential as well; parking in neighborhoods for the same time periods. They are a great
source for flyer distribution to merchants, retailers, etc. If you decide to have a poster
program, they can have those posters up all over town in days on the windows of
SNOW REMOVAL COMPANIES: They are driving around, and are out and about when everyone else
in inside and toasty. They are out even when the criminals are not. But just incase the
criminals come out in the cold weather your team is still working and helping police with
extra eyes. The police have much more important emergencies to take care of when the
weather gets that bad. In the summer time the snow removal companies have other jobs and
will also be willing to display the sign.
GARAGE DOOR COMPANIES: These companies deliver, install and repair garage doors in
neighborhoods. It behooves these companies to participate because neighbors will not think
they are stealing when they come to someone's house if they have the neighborhood mobile
watch sign on their trucks. So they are very apt to join the program and participate. They
rely on referrals from other contractors, and can also help build your program in size and
number of units on the road.
SIGNAGE COMPANIES: Since these companies make signs, and are in touch with the highest
group of image conscience businesses in town, they can prove to also be a great recruiter
of the most quality companies. If they also do vehicle signage then you will find that
they have many leads for potential recruits to the program. They may even be inclined to
give the program signs at their cost.
SOIL TESTING COMPANIES: Soil companies are out at vacant lots before and during
construction as well as closed businesses and vacant buildings doing environmental
sampling of soil for potential buyers of properties, banks and planning departments. They
may witness stealing of construction materials, graffiti, vandalism and squatters of
abandoned buildings. They tend to have many trucks that go out into the field.
AUTO PARTS COMPANIES: These companies drive around all day to dealerships, auto
maintenance facilities, and utility companies. They have many drivers, two-way dispatch
and cover lots of territories. Their vehicles are driven by young high energy people who
can really add excitement to the groups and who have friends who party a lot and are more
apt to commit crimes. It is good to have these drivers warn their friends and
acquaintances of this new program.; it serves as a deterrent.
MOBILE DOG GROOMERS: These business owners are usually small independents and have a sense
of community pride. They are in gated communities as well as residential neighborhoods.
They know animal people, ranchers, horse owners, vets. They see and hear about animal
abuses. They park in neighborhoods for hours grooming dogs.
MILK MAN: These delivery drivers are up early and can easily help cover residential areas
in wee hours of the morning and also go to institutional facilities and are happy to help.
A typical dairy may have 10-50 trucks driving around.
BREAD COMPANIES: These delivery drivers are up early and can easily help cover retail
business areas in wee hours of the morning and also go to institutional facilities and are
happy to help. Their product pick-up areas are in Industrial areas or lower income areas
for the most part and since they start at 3:30-4:00 am in the morning they can also be a
look out in those areas of your city. They deliver behind grocery stores and businesses
all day until about one to two pm. Their varied schedule makes them perfect candidates for
BEVERAGE DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES: Beverage companies go to gas stations, mini-marts,
grocery stores, C-stores, bars, institutions, and are usually involved with all types of
community activities: fairs, events, schools, etc. They need to remain in a positive light
with local public relations. Many times the leadership of their company is involved in
local service clubs, chamber of commerce committees, and non-profit kids groups.
STREET SWEEPING COMPANIES: Most of the activities done by street sweepers are at night in
commercial and retail areas when nobody else is around. This is the time most likely to
have vandalism occur. The drivers may be oblivious to the surrounding activities, but if
asked to help, will gladly keep a watchful eye. The owners of these companies may also own
other companies such as landscape companies. They may own only 4-5 street sweepers, but 3
times as many landscape trucks. Ride on lawnmowers should have the stickers on them too.
They are at parks and golf courses and people see them and will feel safer and be okay
with the noise.
CARPET CLEANING COMPANIES: There are many carpet-cleaning companies, both franchisees and
independents, and all of them should be in the program. You can use this to your
advantage. Sign up one company and use it to try to sign up the rest of them. If every van
which cleans carpets has a sign then there will not be a day when any given neighborhood
goes without at least one visit from a member of the neighborhood watch program.
UNIFORM RENTAL COMPANIES: These companies go in alleys and back parking lots to businesses
all day long delivering uniforms, rugs, and welcome mats. They also go to government
agencies, schools, etc. They tend to have quite a few delivery trucks with plenty of room
for a sign on them. They have been great participators in previous programs.
SCREEN MOBILE FRANCHISEES: The Founder of The Screen Mobile Franchise System has reviewed
this plan and has agreed to have his franchisees participate. It is a close-knit group and
will be very easy to recruit them and have them recruit their industry contacts in
construction, interior decorating and local window cleaners.
KINKOS: Kinkos has delivery vans, which have colorful graphics and attract attention.
Since they are 24 hours and many people use their stores at night, they will see the van
in the parking lot. They will be driving that same van around during the day delivering
orders to businesses. Kinkos may also be a resource to print flyers at their cost for your
group; maybe even for free if they can advertise on the back. Talk to the store manager
and see what level of participation they can allow in their budget that quarter.
TOWING COMPANIES: Towing companies are very well connected directly into the police
department radio system; they have scanners and are listening to things like getaways and
hit and runs and just might see that bad guy fly by. They can also help because they are
24 hours, 7 days a week service. And they are very visible.
UNITED STATES POST OFFICE: Normally the USPS will not put stickers on their LLVs (Long
Life Vehicles) but the contract carriers who deliver the mail to their post office will.
Also think about the number of mail vehicles? They will participate and you can have your
local community police person contact the postmaster and set up a 30 minute meeting to
explain to the carriers the importance of the program and then these mail carriers will
become your stealth group. No one knows they are in the program but you. And they cover
the whole city every work day.
TRASH COMPANY: The trash company covers the whole city once per week. That is extremely
great coverage. In some areas they cover twice a week, such as certain business districts.
They also handle haul away containers at construction sites and have supervisors who
cruise around all day with customer service issues and safety programs. All trucks have
two-way radio to dispatchers. This group should also have a meeting especially for them at
their facility to train drivers of the program.
CABLE COMPANY: Cable companies like other utility companies must remain in a good consumer
light and establish a strong public relations program. This neighborhood watch is exactly
up that alley. The other great thing about them is they can advertise their participation
on the community channel bulletin board and in public service announcements on their local
stations. Cable companies may also be willing to ask for volunteers to the program though
their mass media advantage point.
GAS COMPANY: The gas company can really be of great service. They have meter readers that
go into neighborhood with scanning devises to read meters and some still have walkers,
which go into the actual yards of residents. They may also be willing to put into their
bills that they are helping with your neighborhood watch program thus helping alert
consumers and public of this program.
ELECTRIC COMPANY: Electric companies have employees who are often in boom trucks and are
at a great vantage point looking down at situations from 30 feet in the air. All the while
they have two-way communication via walkie-talkie. They tend to have some of the largest
fleets in the area and have lots of divisions which do everything from installation to
customer service and education.
UTILITY COMPANY: There are other utility companies in different areas covering a wide
variety of services. Different areas have special needs and have utility companies set up
to serve those needs. Check to see in your phone book if you have other utility companies,
which are not listed here that can help with your program, its coverage, and scope.
BUS COMPANY: Bus companies working with the city are also under a little bit of pressure
to promote the public good. You can use this to your advantage. They often have team
meetings with their drivers. This is a good time to have the police community relations
officer come in and give a talk. Even if they are reluctant to put the signs on the buses,
they can still be a great driving force to the success of you local program. Contact them
and ask for their participation.
AMBULANCE COMPANY: During high traffic time, ambulance
companies will often strategically place themselves in shopping centers or fast food
restaurant lots near their service zone. They do this so they can get to the scene of an
accident quicker. They remain on-call during this time, and wait with nothing to do. Why
not have them observe the scene around that area? They are in two-way communication with
all law enforcement departments and hospital. They employ people who care and have lots of
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION: This group has no choice but to help. They rely on low
crime rates to attract great companies to the area to promote economic growth. Not only
will they be all for your program, they may even use the existence of the program to
promote their own recruitment of companies to the area. They also are on a first name
basis with the decision makers of the largest corporate players who may help donate money
to the program after it gets going and you need more signs and other materials.
MILITARY RECRUITERS: Military recruiters' main focus is to recruit from the local
population. They must interact with young people in their communities; therefore, they
become great judges of character. They know when a teenager is just acting tough just to
be part of the gang. They also park their cars in shopping centers and recruiting stations
all day. They are looked up to by the high-energy youth. They understand that the same
kids that cause problems may become great members of our society.
ANIMAL CONTROL: Animal control employees are most likely to find out about abuse of
animals, in their travels to neighborhoods they often see questionable activity in it.
Many animal control vehicles have light bars on top of the vehicle. They are trained to
observe and a spot runaway animals, during these observations they may also see other
things which are at a place.
CODE ENFORCEMENT: Code enforcement personnel are usually called out by complaints. The
observed complaint may turn out to be more serious than the original complaint.
Enforcement personnel are good because they will not report non-crimes. Each city may have
two, three, or a whole staff of code enforcement personnel, which will help you increase
the number of vehicles in the neighborhood mobile watch patrol.
EPA INSPECTORS: EPA inspectors go to many commercial and industrial sites each day. They
often see graffiti, the dumping of 55 gal. drums, vandalism, etc. EPA inspectors are also
good because they drive 4-door sedans that look official and have an emblem on the side.
They also can read body language and understand suspicious behavior. They often wear
uniforms of some type and have badges when they need to open the wallet and flash them.
OSHA INSPECTORS: These inspectors go to facility departments of large corporations, they
go to construction sites, and they go to government agencies and even colleges and
Universities to insure that there are consistent and safe working conditions. This is good
because they too are trained observers, drive four door sedans and have a huge networking
pool of people they deal with on a regular basis.
WATER TREATMENT PLANT: Treatment Plants often have lots of vehicles and are happy to
improve their image with the public. One of the most important things we have as part of
our infrastructure and which accounts for a huge part of municipal budgets are these
plants. They are constantly chasing parts to and from the facility to hardware stores and
industrial part companies. This in itself is a huge network of individuals. And these
plants spend big bucks and if they were to suggest that a parts company sign up for the
neighborhood watch program for the part companies delivery truck they would be hard
pressed to decline since 20% of their sales comes from those types of treatment plants.
FIRE DEPARTMENT: These are people who can really help, whether or not they put the sign on
the vehicles. Firemen are active sports enthusiasts and always carry communication,
walkie-talkies or cell phones. The fire department has chiefs and executive departments
with vehicles too. The executive department is very political and has to stay involved. If
you would like a plan on our ARSON WATCH PROGRAM, we also have a book for that and this
program, as soon as it is successful, can be used to implement the ARSON WATCH during the
next fire season. If they help you, you will help them with their PR for ARSON WATCH
PROBATION DEPARTMENT: Probation Department will be glad to help you with these programs.
They tend to know many of the bad apples in the area and their friends. They often make
social work house calls and meet with parents and loved ones. They are very much in touch
with what is going on in your area. It is important to include them into your program,
whether or not they put the sign on the cars.
STROM WATER PROGRAM: Storm water program personnel are somewhat of a new trend. They are
in charge of making sure that only rain water goes into a storm drain. They work very
closely with the code enforcement department in the city and sometimes share the same
responsibilities. Illegal dumping and pollution are something else that happens too often
in cities. It also gives them a chance to work more closely with law enforcement and helps
them have teeth in their jobs to stop the pollution.
LOTTERY DEPARTMENT: Most State lottery departments have satellite offices to control the
operations of the state lotteries and to approve stores and advertising. They often have a
few vans, which park outside overnight and are targets of vandalism; a sign on the
vehicles could prevent that. They also go to liquor stores, and other high traffic places
and parking lots on a consistent basis.
DEPARTMENT OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: These people do every thing from going to gas stations
to measure that the pump does not cheat you, to visiting grocery stores and making sure
that your produce scales work properly. Therefore they tend to be around the town on a
non-consistent, non-scheduled, surprise visit basis. Making it unpredictable when and
where they will be. Thus helping the nature of finding violators and keeping people
NATIONAL GUARD ARMORY: These outlets can help you with a grand opening bringing in a tank,
or Humvee, or troop carrier. They have many vehicles that drive around and do errands to
run the facilities. Also this will help educate thousands of weekend warriors as to your
new program. They are a great resource and some day they may even save the lives of all
the people in the town during times of natural disaster, terrorist threat or civil unrest.
Good people to have on any team and a public relations officer assigned to these things
with a budget too.
COLLEGE DISTRICTS: College districts are great because that is where students are;
students have energy and want to change the World. This helps educate them about the
program. They make great volunteers for future community endeavors and have great ideas.
Colleges tend to have large budgets and much facility needs and therefore have all kinds
of equipment and vehicles. They have ride on lawn mowers, street sweepers, supervisory
cars, sports department transportation, utility pickups, etc. Lots of support and often
that younger generation does have their percentage of problems. Car break-ins, drunk
drivers, rapes, stabbings etc. occur at or around the school. This program will help curb
some of that crime and make the kids responsible and part of the solution instead.
UNIVERSITIES: Universities have their own campus police, as well as their own set of
problems. They are well aware of what happens on campus and are willing to participate to
mitigate any negative PR that may have occurred in the past at their school. It shows they
are doing something very proactive and also helps nearby residence feel safer.
Universities should welcome this program and even wish to modify it to fit their needs on
campus. Great, let them, it is about working together, not who thought of the idea or who
gets credit for it. Our job is to prevent crime, make people responsible and to fix the
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