Spitzer Launches Neighborhood Watch Website

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that his office has launched a state-of-the-art Internet website to assist communities in organizing and maintaining neighborhood watch programs.

The introduction of Spitzer’s Neighborhood Watch website coincides with "National Night Out," an annual event aimed reducing crime which will be held Tuesday, August 1.

"Neighborhood and block watch programs are extremely effective tools for deterring crime and improving quality of life. These programs are driven by the energy and dedication of their members and local law enforcement," said Attorney General Spitzer. "By making informational materials available and providing a forum to receive feedback from the public we can have a direct and significant impact on reducing crime, lessening fear and isolation and empowering residents from the inner city to outlying communities."

Spitzer’s new web link can be accessed at: www.ag.ny.gov/crime/neighborhood_watch/night_out.html

This site features information on how to build a successful neighborhood watch program, develop strategies and techniques for reducing incidents of crime. The site offers sample materials and organizational tools that may be incorporated into new or existing programs. The guide also highlights ideas and tips on such topics as patrols, fund raising, reports, resources and other crime prevention and neighborhood watch links.

Community activists and law enforcement officials hailed Spitzer’s efforts to establish neighborhood watch programs across the State.

Margaret Miller-Scott, President of Turn Around New Cassell/Westbury Drug Fighters, a civic group formed to keep drug activity from overtaking a Nassau County neighborhood said: "Three years ago, the group started a block watch association with a handful of families who wanted to channel their energy into preserving a community by working with the police, rather than watching it be torn apart by violence. However, we had difficulty figuring out just where to start because information of this type was not readily available. Attorney General Spitzer’s Internet guide provides a step-by-step approach for communities struggling to coordinate limited resources and looking to establish a block watch program of their own."

Peter R. Kehoe, Executive Director and Counsel to the New York State Sheriffs’ Association said: "A great way to involve the public in law enforcement is "Neighborhood Watch," where citizens in cooperation with the Sheriff and other local law enforcement agencies directly participate in the detection and prevention of crime. The Sheriffs of New York State commend Attorney General Spitzer for his many efforts to enhance and promote Neighborhood Watch. Our efforts together will help all of New York State become a safer place to live and work."

The neighborhood watch program was developed in 1972 by the National Sheriffs’ Association and today has evolved into the largest single organized crime prevention project in the nation.

The Attorney General’s Neighborhood Watch Web page will be updated regularly to spotlight advancements in research, new crime prevention strategies, conferences and news from various neighborhood watch groups.