CJA 314 Week 3 Team Assignment Neighborhood Watch Research Study Paper
CJA 314 Week 3 Team Assignment Neighborhood Watch Research Study Paper
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Neighborhood Watch Research Study Paper CJA 314 Neighborhood Watch Program Neighborhood Watch Programs are put in place to protect the members of a community. Once a program is put in place they must be strictly monitored. The success of a neighborhood watch program is dependent on the community actively participating. There is no one person that can run these types of programs. It is truly a group effort and that is why it is crucial for the entire community to come together to make sure the program is effective. This small suburb community is a place where everyone knows everyone. Members treat each other as though they were family members. The members of this small community have made several complaints about suspicious activity. It was not until the neighborhood had three houses robbed, all within a month’s time, that some of the members came up with the idea of maybe implementing a watch program. Unfortunately, due to no participation from the rest of the community the idea got tossed to the side. The neighborhood was quiet of any criminal activity for about two months. Two months after the houses were robbed a series of incidents occurred. Members began noticing that the community was becoming frequently visited by gang members driving through and that they were seeing more and more people coming in and out of the community that did not belong there. Again even with all these signs, the community did not come together as a whole and tossed the complaints to the back burner. So what caused the members of this community to finally come together as one? It took one community member being robbed at gun point to finally put the fear into all. Within weeks the watch program had been put in place. The community nominated seven of their neighbors to form the Neighborhood Watch Committee. It is their job to make sure that the community members are actively participating in their roles to ensure that their community stays safe for all that live within its limits. The watch program has been in effect for a little over three months now and the Mayor has requested to see whether the program has been successful. The Committee put together this type of pamphlet to explain what type of program is in place and to give the Mayor reviews of the last three months in order for the Mayor to accurately make a determination as to the success of the program. Explanation for Design Selection The reason we choose to implement a neighborhood watch program was so that the whole community would become involved in the protection of this community. In order for a neighborhood watch program to work you need the whole community to participate in the organization along with the support of the local law enforcement agency that patrols the neighborhood. This community is tired of the crimes being committed against their fellow neighbors and would like to put a stop to the crimes being committed. A community watch program helps the police to be able to cover a neighborhood more thrall coverage of the area where the crimes have been being committed. In the history of the neighborhood watch program there has been declines in the crime rates in the neighborhoods that have these watch programs in place. History also shows that neighborhoods that are disorganized and have no neighborhood programs have a higher crime rate then neighborhoods that do work together to make their neighborhoods safer. While creating this neighborhood watch program the citizens’ work closely with the police department to obtain training and creditability with the law enforcement community. It is also important to hold community meetings so that everyone is on board with information about the program and how it works. The leaders of the community will be going door to door to recruit members for the watch team. They can also recruit people who stay at home but could be window watchers to keep an eye on children playing in the area and other activities that are going around in the neighborhood. The community will also be helping keeping the neighborhood clean of abandon cars and overgrown lots in the neighborhood. While the neighborhood is trying to clean up the area and repair rundown storefronts will also help create jobs for some of the residents in the neighborhood. We would also encourage the local churches to have different meetings about drug prevention, organizing youth groups, and helping the neighbors to get to know one another or to have a block party where the neighbors. Law enforcement and businesses in the area need to come together to show support for this community action. The more involved in the program the stronger the program will become. Each one of these different meetings and information being distributed will help get the neighbors motivated to start and commit to the neighborhood watch programs and help secure this neighborhood from the crimes that are being committed in the area. It is very important to have the support of the whole neighborhood so that this program will be successful. Making sure that the information is distributed throughout the whole neighborhood is very important. Criminological Theories Neighborhood watch requires members of the community to work together to eliminate crime and maintain the quality of the neighborhood. Many criminological theories can help support such organizations, but criminology of place and social control can be more common. Criminology of place also known as environmental criminology can help support neighborhood watch programs because this theory is about prevention. Taking the right steps to observe an area for possible dangers and eliminating them before they occur. Watching homes and local businesses in the area to ensure robbery crimes are not committed. To have a functional neighborhood watch there must be constant interaction with group members and authorities. Social control can be an effective approach for a successful neighborhood watch. Social control allows or gives the members of the neighborhood to keep those who have a negative impact on the community away from others, especially children. For example if a member notice a neighborhood child becoming associates with other children who are known for gang activity, inform the child’s parents, and began taken action to eliminate the chance of gangs increasing. Social control can have a positive effect on crime because of the direct intervention done by residents. Members of the community are more efficient when it comes to their community. Members of the community often have more knowledge about issues that take place, and may know individuals involved. Social Disorganization theory focuses on the immediate environment. Social aspects such as family, friends, school, help to determine an individual’s behavior. Neighborhood watch programs can apply this theory when it comes to observing dysfunctional families, or a child being picked on in school. Often these cases are known to cause behavior problem. The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” pertain to this theory. If the community shows concern for others, a person who may have been considering the wrong path could realize that others do care. Observing the problematic areas of the social aspect of individuals within the community can eliminates the community an increase in crime rate. Most of the causes of crime have reciprocal effects on another. For example, low attachment to parents increases the likelihood of association with delinquent peers, and association with delinquent peers reduces attachment to parents (Agnew). There will always be a reaction for every action. The theories can all be beneficial in upstanding the causes of crime to help fight toward prevention. In general, a combination or integration of all theories can be applied. The causes of crime vary over the life course. For example, parents have a much stronger effect on delinquency among younger than older adolescents. Factors like work, marriage, college, and the military, however, are more important among older adolescents (Agnew). Hypotheses and Operationalize Concepts Neighborhood watch programs were design to help either prevent crimes or reduce them in the neighborhoods. People would get together and start a community group organization. The Neighborhood Watch Program was created in the late 1960’s as a response to increasing crime rates in residential neighborhoods. Initially, the program consisted of local independent groups that formed to watch over their neighborhoods and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. In 1972 the National Sheriff’s Association created the National Neighborhood Watch Program in an effort to encourage the formation of Neighborhood Watch groups across the country. The program has been and continues to be an effective tool in fighting and preventing crime in residential communities. The primary goal of a neighborhood watch group is to enable citizens to join together to increase the safety and wellbeing of the neighborhood while decreasing its crime rate. The groups act as extra eyes and ears for police, and actively promote safety and security in communities nationwide. Neighborhood Watch groups are strictly voluntary, staffed by local law enforcement and neighborhood volunteers who donate their time and occasionally, resources. Unlike other law enforcement programs, the Neighborhood Watch Program is unique in that it provides the public with an opportunity to participate in the direct protection of their community. Working as a unit, neighbors assist the police by observing suspicious or unlawful activity and reporting it to the authorities as well as to one another. The members of any neighborhood watch program need to be diligent in their efforts and commitment in providing protection to their community. Every participant has a responsibility to the others and dedication to the joint cause of eradicating residential crime is essential. Each person must take the safety of the community seriously and do whatever they can to ensure that not only their family and property is protected, but that the families and possessions of their neighbors are protected as well. The key members of any Neighborhood Watch Program are responsible for providing informative materials from the National Sheriff's Association, the National Crime Prevention Council and local agencies to the members of the group. In addition, these members need to arrange for ongoing programs in which crime prevention experts can present neighborhood security tips. Knowledge and information is important to the success of any neighborhood watch program. Citizens involved in a crime prevention group need to provide assistance within the community such as citizen patrols, providing support to crime victims, reporting crime and unusual events whenever they are observed and providing support and assistance to one another whenever it is required. The success of any neighborhood watch program is dependent upon the combined efforts of the local citizenry. The role of law enforcement in any Neighborhood Watch Program is an important one. The Sheriff or Police Chief in the community commits equipment, training, operating space, speakers and liaison officers to the program. In addition, the police provide crime statistic information, encouragement and guidance as well as an active work force and logistical support to the efforts of the neighborhood watch program. The Sheriff or Police Chief is also responsible for organizing the neighborhood into sections and assigning each area to specific officers. These officers will take responsibility for their own jurisdiction and for attending watch meetings, training members of the neighborhood watch program and identifying residents who can serve as organizers and coordinators in each area. Conclusion This pamphlet gave a better look into the reasoning of why the community decided to put a Neighborhood Watch Program in their community. Over the past three months, members have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of complaints that they were once receiving for suspicious activity. Since the program came in effect there was only one other breakin that occurred. The number of nonresident individuals coming through the community has also decreased. There is still times that a member or two will see people that shouldn’t be there, but thankfully due to the close relationship the community has with their law enforcement potential criminals are well aware that they should not be within the community. Law enforcement has been a tremendous force behind the success of the program. An officer is quickly dispatched to the scene the moment the call goes out to them. The response time has been less than five minutes. That is a phenomenal response time considering where the community is located. The law enforcement agency was willing to work close with this community because they knew that this community would not abuse the power of the police. The Neighborhood Watch Program has been a complete success. Committee members are very pleased with the results and are sure that the results speak for themselves. They also know that in order for the program to stay effective members must remain stay active with their community. If the community members begin slacking on doing their part then everything that has been accomplished over the last few months would be for no reason. In order to keep the neighborhood active the committee brings the community together twice a month and reminds them of the dangers that lurk if each member is not active. References National Sheriffs' Association. (n.d.). About Neighborhood Watch. Retrieved from http://www.usaonwatch.org/about/neighborhoodwatch.aspx Agnew, R., Crime Causation: Sociological Theories, Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice (2002) Retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G23403000066.html Clovis Police Department. (2011). . Retrieved from http://www.police.cityofclovis.org/index.php/communityprograms/neighborhoodwatch National Crime Prevention Council. (2011). Neighborhood Watch. Retrieved from http://www.ncpc.org/topics/homeandneighborhoodsafety/neighborhoodwatch
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