Whether you have just moved into the community or have lived or ran your business in the area for several years, it is important to know your neighbors and law enforcement officials in case of unexpected crime. There are multiple reasons why knowing these people is essential to protecting your home and business.
Having an extra set of eyes and ears
The first and most obvious reason is to provide an extra set of eyes and ears for local police. Your neighbors know who is coming and going on a regular basis. They may notice a suspicious vehicle, someone walking around who is normally not in the area, something that does not belong, or something that looks out of place. It is always a good feeling to know someone else is watching over your property and making sure everything is OK when you are not able to.
Helping with crime prevention
Neighbors are often the first to notice something out of the ordinary. They know when a vehicle does not belong or when a garage door is open at night. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere all the time, and this is when neighbors can help. If criminals know you have neighbors watching over the house, crimes are less likely to happen. This is essential when you must be away from your property for an extended period or manage it from a distance. If a neighbor would notice something suspicious at the property, like an open door or an unexpected light, they can report it to police and possibly stop a crime from happening.
Becoming more social and having emotional support
When tenants or neighbors know each other, they are more likely to socialize together. Fostering a sense of community within rental properties and neighborhoods creates support, knowing neighbors are there to help. This helps with emotional and physical support and creates an overall improved sense of well-being.
Knowing local law enforcement
Many communities have officers assigned to certain areas within the city, town, or village. This helps them get to know a smaller area and the people who live there. They will know what to look for and be able to determine if something is out of place. Introduce yourself to local law enforcement and encourage your tenants to do so as well.
Why police-community relationships are important
The biggest reason you should have a relationship with your law enforcement agency is trust. The community needs to trust that the police are going to protect and serve them, and the police rely on community members to provide information on crime in their neighborhoods. Police and community members need to work together to make your community a safe place to live and do business. When challenges are discussed, both groups can provide ideas and help the community grow.
Starting a neighborhood watch program
If you are thinking about starting a neighborhood watch program, there are multiple online resources, such as the National Neighborhood Watch, that are available to use. You may also contact your local law enforcement and work with them on a neighborhood watch program.
Crime happening in your neighborhood is not something you want to think about, but it is essential to have a plan in place if something were to happen.