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Racine Neighborhood Watch

This month shines a spotlight on crime prevention. Since 1984, October is “National Crime Prevention Month.” It recognizes and celebrates the practice of crime prevention while promoting awareness of important issues such as creating safer, more caring communities.

Racine Neighborhood Watch Inc. has been a lead crime prevention agency for more than 35 years. It is the mission of RNW to work with residents to “create safe, friendly, and attractive neighborhoods throughout the Racine community.” RNW empowers residents to take responsibility for the neighborhoods in which they live by building positive and productive community-law enforcement relationships through RNW Neighborhood Watch meetings, programming, and events.

Preventing crime is everyone’s business. Successful crime prevention requires action and communication. Each person has a stake in the prevention of crime — children, youth, adults, homeowners, renters, business and community leaders, everyone and each individual can help. By working together, encouraging neighborhood camaraderie, and building positive law enforcement-community partnerships, a safer and more caring place to live, work, and play can be created.

Crime prevention is successful when neighbors report any and all suspicious activities to law enforcement. RNW teaches residents how to be proactive in crime prevention. Recognizing that neighbors are the resident experts of who and what belongs (and who and what doesn’t), RNW provides tools and best practices for productive cooperation and collaboration with law enforcement and among neighbors to keep a neighborhood safe.

One of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime is through an organized Neighborhood Block Watch. A Block Watch relies on the best crime-fighting tool ever created — a good neighbor. An effective Block Watch depends on a communication network among all block watchers, law enforcement, and RNW. Positive neighbor-to-neighbor and neighbor-to-law enforcement relationships strengthen a true sense of community. The Neighborhood Block Watch program helps prevent and reduce crime.

It educates residents about basic personal and neighborhood safety skills and ways to deter crime; improves crime reporting by citizens; reduces fear of crime in the neighborhood; and unites neighbors to be proactive in crime prevention.

To start a Block Watch, a neighbor agrees to host a Block Watch organizational meeting and invites all neighbors to attend. RNW staff along with law enforcement present crime prevention and safety information, discuss how and when to report suspicious people and activities to law enforcement, and include Block Watch best practices for keeping neighbors engaged, connected and informed. The officer also addresses issues relevant to the neighborhood and answers residents’ questions. Packets with safety and crime prevention safety are distributed.

While National Crime Prevention Month lasts 31 days, sound crime prevention habits need to be practiced every day. Crime prevention doesn’t have to be complicated. Locking doors and good outdoor lighting are just two examples of creating barriers to immediate criminal activity. Successful crime prevention also requires an alert citizenry who when they see any sort of suspicious behavior or notice suspicious people, have the confidence and courage to report it to law enforcement.

Creating a safer community involves participation in active crime prevention procedures. Long-term neighborhood stability and safety are benefits of a Neighborhood Block Watch program. For more information, call RNW at 262-637-5711 or email Block Watch organizational meetings are scheduled year-round.

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