Frequently Asked Questions

What is Neighborhood Watch?

Neighborhood Watch is a Crime Prevention Program that involves a group of residents living in the same area who want to make their neighborhood safer by working in conjunction with law enforcement to reduce crime and improve their quality of life.

Does Neighborhood Watch work?

Yes, Neighborhood Watch has proven to be an effective program made successful by its participants.

What are the benefits of a Neighborhood Watch program?

A reduction in crime, a better quality of life, a greater sense of security, responsibility, and personal control, it helps build community pride, prepares residents to help others and themselves in their community, provides law enforcement agencies with volunteer support year round by being an extra set of eyes and ears for the South Gate Police Department.

Who can be a part of Neighborhood Watch?

Anyone who lives in the city of South Gate can participate whether they live in an apartment complex, condominium complex, townhouse, or single family home.

Can minors participate in Neighborhood Watch?

Yes, any member of a participating household is considered part of the Neighborhood Watch. However, some activities are only appropriate for adults.

How do you start a Neighborhood Watch group?

Residents interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch group would need to contact the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator at 323-563-5465. Contact neighbors and find out what is the best time for them to meet. Schedule the meeting and distribute flyers 7-10 days prior, inviting neighbors to the Neighborhood Watch meeting.

How big does our Neighborhood Watch group have to be?

A major function of Neighborhood Watch is for neighbors to keep an eye on each other's homes and watch for suspicious criminal activity. Therefore, you do not want your Neighborhood Watch group to be bigger than what would allow the watch group to be effective. An average city block is about the right size for a Neighborhood Watch group.

Does everyone in the Neighborhood Watch group have to live on the same street?

We encourage members of a Neighborhood Watch group to live on the same street being that each block has different issues or concerns regarding their area. It also makes it easier for residents to lookout for each other.

How much time is involved in being part of a Neighborhood Watch group?

Neighborhood Watch requires a minimum amount of time. Residents are asked to participate in Neighborhood Watch meetings and other activities which include Street Beautification projects, Potlucks to get to know neighbors, etc.

How long do Neighborhood Watch meetings last?

Meetings usually last 1-2 hours depending on the topic that is being discussed and / or questions that are being asked.

What happens at the Neighborhood Watch meetings?

The first meeting will consist of an introduction to the Neighborhood Watch. Residents will have an opportunity to share concerns and ask questions regarding the program. Future meeting topics will be based on what the residents would like to discuss or learn about. If there is a specific topic residents would like to learn about or obtain more information on, the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator can provide resources and if possible, obtain a guest speaker. After the first meeting, it will be up to the Block Captain and neighbors to schedule and coordinate future meetings. It is the responsibility of the individual Neighborhood Watch groups to keep the program active.

What topics can the meetings be about?

Meetings can be but are not limited to the following topics: Concerns or Issues happening in the neighborhood, Personal Safety, Home Safety, Observing & Reporting Suspicious Activity, Gang Awareness, Drug / Narcotics Awareness, Identity Theft / Fraud, Sexual Assault / Sex Offenders, Domestic Violence, Emergency Preparedness, Community Policing, Traffic and Internet Crimes. Meetings can also consist of potlucks or barbecues to give residents the opportunity to get to know each other as well as Neighborhood Beautification projects that help bring the community together.

What are the qualifications to be a Block Captain?

Will sustain the effort.

Gets along with people and listens constructively.

Uses good communication and negotiating skills.

Will delegate tasks.

Conducts meetings effectively and efficiently.

Has a long-range vision of neighborhood and community improvement.

Embraces the position as a civic duty.

What are the responsibilities of a Block Captain?

Block Captains and Alternates are liaisons between the Neighborhood Watch group and the police department. They schedule Neighborhood Watch meetings, maintain a current membership roster, and distribute flyers or other information to the community.

How do Neighborhood Watch groups communicate?

Neighborhood Watch groups communicate through telephone rosters, flyers, emails, cell phones, and text messages.