Throughout the country, there are many Neighborhood Block Watch groups. Most were started by people with no more experience than you have. Getting it started takes a little work but once you are up and running, there are many resources and ways to get the people in your neighborhood involved.

The first step is to contact the Columbus Police Department’s Strategic Response Bureau at 614-645-4610. Your Community Liaison Officer will then contact you to get your meetings started. You will need to check with your neighbors to make sure there is adequate interest to get your group started. Spread the word. Recruit and organize as many neighbors as you can. Discuss community concerns with your neighbors.

Neighborhood Block Watch groups are the first line of defense. Busters Journal often talks about private citizens as the community’s eyes and ears for law enforcement. Block Watch groups are a powerful way to become exactly that. Law enforcement agencies know this as well and will help you in your endeavors to make your community safer.

When you reach approximately 60% of community involvement law enforcement will provide your community with block watch signage. To get to this point it’s important to identify the issues in your community and rally other concerned citizen into the battle to stop the crime. When people with strong convictions come together they have a tendency to successfully draw in others. Everyone wants to live in safe neighborhoods.

From the Columbus Police’s website:

  • At the first meetings organizational details are discussed, including what is expected of Block watch participants, geographical boundaries, and selection of block captains and/or coordinators. The first meeting may also cover basic information about the organization of the Division of Police, use of 911, how to call in suspicious persons or activity and other immediate concerns of attendees.
  • The next phase is generally devoted to home security and target-hardening, including information about door and window locks, alarm systems and burglary prevention information.
  • The third phase is usually concerned with personal safety, street crimes, sexual assault, and any other areas not covered at the other meetings. Since the third meeting is usually the last in the sequence, any remaining organizational matters are finalized.


Download the Columbus Police Department Block Watch Handbook here.