Neighborhood Watch

What Is Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch SignNeighborhood Watch is a group of neighbors looking out for neighbors. It is getting to know each other and becoming familiar with your neighbor's habits and vehicles so that you will know when something is suspicious or out of the ordinary. In addition to recognizing potential suspicious activities, Neighborhood Watch participants report such activity by calling Douglas County Emergency Communications, which dispatches police services for all of Douglas County, at 541-440-4471. After calling to report the situation, also notify your Watch Chairperson.

All of this doesn't make you a nosy neighbor - it makes you a good neighbor in the old-fashioned sense of the word. Many people don't want to bother the police because they are afraid that it may not be a real emergency or that they may be embarrassed if their suspicions turn out to be unfounded. The police would much rather be called out to investigate than to be called after a crime has been committed.

When to Call the Sheriff

When in doubt, always call either the non-emergency line at 541-440-4471 or if people are in immediate danger, 911. The Douglas County Emergency Dispatch center is staffed with trained operators who will evaluate your call, rank its priority, and dispatch it to the appropriate officer.

Neighborhood Watch does not mean being a vigilante. Participants do not confront suspects or take any personal risks at all.

Benefits of Having a Neighborhood Watch

  • Improved home security
  • Improved livability
  • Information about available resources and services
  • Knowing your neighbors and looking out for one another
  • A partnership with the Sheriff's office
  • A team concept of neighbors working together

Helpful Resources

Prevention material available via speaker presentations and/or brochures:

  • Burglary / Theft Prevention
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
  • Illegal Drugs / Drug Houses
  • Operation ID

How to Organize a Neighborhood Watch

Thank you for taking those first important steps to organize your neighborhood to help fight crime in your area. If the Sheriff's Office can be of any further assistance, please call us at 541-440-4450.

  1. Step One
  2. Step Two
  3. Step Three
  4. Step Four
  5. Step Five
  6. Step Six

Getting Started

  • Download the Neighborhood Watch Packet (PDF).
  • Determine the area you want to organize. This should be the area you consider your "neighborhood." Groups can range in any size that you feel comfortable organizing.
  • Find neighbors to assist you. These people will form your initial group of Neighborhood Watch Volunteers. A good number would be one person per 8 to 10 households. Determine the best night of the week for a presentation. Most Neighborhood Watch presentations are held during the evening hours.