For the Spring 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, self-defense expert Michael Janich outlined a series of steps everyday citizens could take to safeguard their communities through a Neighborhood Watch program. Janich’s tips included how to organize a new community group, how to engage local law enforcement in your effort, and how to develop a specific action plan for your Neighborhood Watch program.

According to Janich, “Once you have identified enough motivated individuals, organize a basic structure of key personnel. If possible, identify a block captain for each block or similar geographic unit in your neighborhood and select a coordinator to represent the group’s interest to your local police department.” Informing the local police department of your Neighborhood Watch efforts was another priority in Janich’s planning process, as this type of communication can inform your group about what types of crimes to watch out for in your area.

“Request a meeting between your local law enforcement department and your newly organized neighborhood watch. Plan the meeting at least two weeks in advance to make scheduling easier and to allow time for word to spread in your community,” says Janich. “This is a great opportunity to learn about reporting skills, crime trends and local requirements for establishing a Neighborhood Watch. It also gives you the opportunity to get to know your local officers and ask them questions.”

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Once you’ve established a better understanding of the types of crime in your area, Janich then details how to create a neighborhood-specific action plan for your Neighborhood Watch program. “Every neighborhood has its own personality, so the dynamics of your Neighborhood Watch should reflect that dynamic,” says Janich. “If your neighborhood contains only single-family homes, the organization and mechanics of the Watch are relatively straightforward. However, if it includes apartment buildings, condominium complexes or other types of housing, you should adapt your organization to effectively include them.”

To read the full article, check out the Spring 2014 issue of PERSONAL & HOME DEFENSE, available on newsstands April 15, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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