Neighborhood Watch

Schedule a Training


To schedule a Neighborhood Crime Watch training session contact Officer Severance, Crime Watch Coordinator, at (972) 721-3745.


Strategic Goal 4


Set the standard for a safe and secure city; register your crime watch program with Irving Police Department. (We are in the process of updating our contact information for crime watch programs within our city.)


Starting a New Program


If you would like to start a crime watch program, please review our Neighborhood Watch Program booklet (downloadable PDF). After reviewing the booklet, please send an email to our Crime Watch contact with your name and phone number. A crime prevention officer will be in contact with you soon.

Please note that all information is considered confidential and will be used by our police officers for communication purposes only.


Crime Prevention Unit


A Community Approach to Crime Prevention


This crime prevention information is from the Irving Police Department in cooperation with The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666-4610.
 
Crime Prevention Unit Page

  

Neighborhood Watch Groups


One of the best deterrents to crime is the watchfulness of your neighbors. There are currently over 400 of these groups meeting throughout our city. During a monthly meeting, discussions of crime concerns and crime prevention measures serve to educate and inform the citizens of Irving. Officers often make presentations on specific crime prevention tips to help make your neighborhood less attractive to criminals. The Community Services Section can help you find the active organizations in your area, or will help you start a new Neighborhood Crime Watch program.

Neighborhood Watch


Neighborhood Watch was created to obtain citizen involvement in discouraging and preventing residential crime. The program uses citizen involvement to secure their own homes and personal property and to report any suspicious activities to the police. Since its creation approximately 10 years ago, it has brought a dramatic drop in the local residential crime rate.

How Neighborhood Watch Works

Neighborhood Watch educates participants in the principles of deterrence, delay, and detection. The program depends on a communication network organized with three levels of participants - the resident, block captains and co-captains, and a local law enforcement representative.

Vigilante actions are in no way condoned by the Neighborhood Watch program. No one is asked to take personal risks or be a hero.

Organizing a Program


  • Visit your neighbors and tell them you are interested in discouraging crime in the neighborhood. Ask for help toward this goal.
  • Organize a neighborhood meeting. Contact your Irving Police Department representative to address the group or be present to answer questions.
  • The Irving Police Department does not require a specific percentage of participants from a neighborhood to start a Crime Watch group.
  • If the group decides to organize a Neighborhood Watch program, block captains, and co-captains should be elected.
  • Block captains should prepare a watch map listing names, addresses, telephone numbers, and license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions for each residence on their block. Copies should be distributed to each household.
  • The Irving Police Department has certified crime prevention officers available to perform a security survey on each residence in the neighborhood. Participation in Operation ID is also encouraged.
  • Once the Police Department's requirements are met, block captains should erect street-size Neighborhood Watch signs at each entrance to the neighborhood or block. The Irving Police Department representative can be contacted to furnish signs, but in some areas, participants have to furnish their own.

Program Duties


Since awareness and involvement are the keys to a successful program, keeping interest high and continuing the group's crime prevention education must be a primary focus of all participants. Listed below are specific duties for captains and residents.

Block Captain / Co-Captain


  • Schedule periodic group meetings (at least every six months), and encourage each homeowner to attend.
  • Act as a liaison between homeowners and the police.
  • Invite your crime prevention officer to address the group and show videos on such topics as home security, rape prevention, child molestation, and crimes against the elderly.
  • Coordinate home security surveys and Operation ID
  • Contact new neighbors about the program.
  • Keep the watch map data current.
  • Disseminate any special information to the group such as crime patterns in the area, homeowners that are on vacation, or attending a function listed in the newspaper such as a wedding or funeral.
  • Distribute newsletters to members.
  • Organize and coordinate auto patrols in rural areas where houses are not close together.
  • Coordinate with the Law Enforcement Explorer program that is available in Irving.

Resident


  • Attend the program meetings and read the newsletter.
  • Secure your home and personal property. Follow the recommendations from the security survey and participate in Operation ID
  • Be alert to suspicious activity and report it immediately.
  • Have your newspaper stopped and mail picked up when away.
  • Inform your neighbors and block captains if you plan to be away so that special attention can be given to your home.
  • Neighborhood Watch is a proven crime reduction program. But, like any self-help activity, its success depends upon you and your neighbor.

Learn How to Protect Yourself


  • More than 6.8 million residential burglaries are committed annually, one every five seconds. Don't become a victim.
  • Secure all swinging doors with dead-bolt locks. Use an auxiliary locking bar, to secure sliding doors.
  • Keep doors locked whether you are at home or away.
  • Close and lock windows when you leave your home.
  • Don't hide spare keys. Burglars always seem to find them. Instead, give your keys to a trusted neighbor.
  • When going on vacation stop all deliveries and ask a neighbor to stop by your house once a day to pick up advertising circulars or anything else that may pile up at your front step.
  • Use automatic timers to turn indoor lights on and off to make it appear you are at home.
  • Identify your belongings. By engraving an identifying number on your possessions you can reduce the chances that your possessions will be stolen. If they are stolen, the identifying numbers will make it easier for the item to be returned to you if it's recovered by the police.