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ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
 "WE PROVIDE RESPONSIVE, ACCOUNTABLE AND PROFESSIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT SERVICES".

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Community Watch

  

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If you have not already joined out Community Watch Crime Reports Please fill out your information below:

E-mail Address: *
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Do you belong to a Community Watch Group
If you belong to a Community Watch Group type it here
Do you want to start a Community Watch Group

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Orange County Community Watch Program

Services Provided by the Orange County Sheriff's

  • Orange County's Community Watch Program was implemented in the late 70's,  as a crime prevention program aimed at involving a total community. The program focuses on encouraging community members to form watch groups in given areas, and to report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary in their area or neighborhood (s).

  • At meetings, members discuss issues regarding security of their homes and neighborhoods. Feedback is designed to provide the members with assistance in protecting neighborhood property.  Members are encouraged to participate in projects such as property identification via marking, photographing and, very importantly, listing all of their valuables. Members are then encouraged to place their lists in a very safe place. Members are also asked to participate in home security checks, these participants are given advice on how different types of locks and doors can help delay or withstand kicking or prying by suspects attempting to gain entry.

  • The program originated in England, in the early 1920’s.  There, such names as "Neighborhood Watch", "Crime Watch", and "Lock Watch" were used.  

  • The general purpose of the program is based on the concept of people looking out for one another.  At the same time it lets potential criminals know that someone is watching out for them.  

  • This is the foundation for crime prevention.  The opportunity, desire and ability to commit particular crimes are reduced at a specific location and time. This creates an atmosphere that is conducive to deterring overall crime.  

  • This program takes teamwork and effort on everyone’s part, including law enforcement.  

  • Fingerprinting and DNA samples of your children. At least twice a year we will participate in an event and take fingerprints and DNA samples, for your records. We'll also hand out Jr. Sheriff badges, and coloring books on playing safe.

 

Why start a community watch?

  • Because Law Enforcement officers cannot always be on every street or road, citizen involvement is very necessary in helping combat crime.  On average, there is approximately one law enforcement officer for every 1,000 citizens. Citizens and their neighbors are the ones who know what is going on in their community (s).  By cooperating with each other and Deputies, citizens can help fight crime in a most effective way - preventing victimization of themselves, their families and friends.  PLEASE GET INVOLVED!! 

  • A SCENARIO FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: February 2007 a community watch member observed two suspicious people knock on the door of her residence late one afternoon. The observant citizen waited for the  people to leave and  immediately alerted 911of her suspicions. Deputies responded and conducted a traffic stop. The suspects in the vehicle had various stolen goods and they were later convicted of larceny. The items were recovered and returned to their owners.    This is just one example of community involvement solving crimes, what we cannot measure though is the number of crimes that has been prevented by active community watch programs.

Active community watch does work to solve and prevent crime.

Know your neighbors, know their vehicles and most of all, know your neighbor!

Starting A Community Watch

1. Contact the Crime Prevention Deputy with the Orange County Sheriff's Office about setting up a Community Watch Program. Deputy Butch Clark can assist you with information, materials and technical advice.

2. Schedule a meeting with your neighbors in a church, home, community building, volunteer fire department or other location.

3. Invite the Crime Prevention deputy or another law enforcement officer to meet, speak and aid you in the organization your group. We will gladly do all we can to help you to get YOUR COMMUNITY WATCH PROGRAM started.

4. Contact every resident in your community and invite them to the meeting. Do this by making door-to-door visits, phone calls, or mailing flyers.

5. Hold your meeting.

6. Remember this is your community watch and we are here to help you, as you will certainly be helping us prevent crime.

How to Maintain An Active Community Watch

Regularly scheduled neighborhood meeting allows members to be kept up-to-date on "what's happening" in their neighborhoods.

From time-to-time have neighborhood/community get-togethers. Have a big social at a member’s house and get to know one another better. Meetings are for business and some socializing, but the cookouts, barbecue, softball games and picnics have a more personal effect and aid in building a strong sense of community.

Finally, have days when all members of the community come out and help "clean-up" the area. Take the time to walk the streets and pick-up trash, brush and other items. Also, if a neighbor needs help with maintaining their yard, get together and help as a group.

Remember, in order for a crime to occur, three elements must be present: Desire, skill, and opportunity. These yield the commission of the crime.

If you do all that you can do to eliminate the opportunity for a person to commit a crime by protecting your home using the tips above, you minimize the chances that your home will be broken into.

Ready to start or participate in a community watch?