What is Neighborhood Watch?
Neighborhood Watch is a group of neighbors looking out for neighbors. It is getting to know each other and becoming familiar with your neighbors’ 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 911. After calling 911, also notify your Neighborhood Watch contact by email or phone. 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 in doubt, always call 911. The 911 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.
How Can I Be a Neighborhood Watch Participant?
Neighborhood Watch doesn’t take a lot of time or money. Contact your Block Captain or area Chairperson to find out specifically what Neighborhood Watch can do for you and what you can do for Neighborhood Watch. Some basics are:
Keep Informed – Attend area Neighborhood Watch meetings, read the Neighborhood Watch materials provided to you, and if your neighborhood has “Crime Alert” voice mail, call it regularly to keep informed. Learn about crime prevention and share the information with your neighbors.
Volunteer – Offer your help whenever you can. Many neighborhood groups need help with copying or distribution of materials, telephone calls, meetings, refreshments, etc. Pitch in to help whenever and wherever you can in the area that interests you most.
Contribute – Neighborhood Watch doesn’t cost a lot, but some costs usually are involved, such as printed materials, voice mail, or meeting costs. Some groups ask for a small amount of dues from members; many others rely only on contributions from their neighbors. Even a small contribution may make a huge difference in your Neighborhood Watch group. Give if you can.
How can I Prevent Crime?
These proven crime prevention measures will go a long way toward keeping you from becoming a crime victim:
- Keep your home’s doors, garage, and windows shut and locked at all times.
- Improve your outdoor lighting. LEAVE YOUR FRONT PORCH LIGHTS “ON” or install a motion sensor.
- Don’t leave lawn equipment or toys outside or in an open garage.
- Keep car doors locked and windows shut while driving and when parked.
- Don’t keep valuables in plain view inside your car.
- Check behind when turning into your neighborhood or apartment complex and again before turning into you alley or driveway. If someone is in close proximity, drive past your home to a well lit and populated area to call 911. Remember that as many crimes occur during daylight hours as at night.
- Don’t let your guard down because it is day.
- Take vacation precautions: Ask someone to pick up mail and newspapers daily. Arrange to have your lawn mowed or leaves raked. Even better, have someone stay in your home while you are away, if this is possible.
- What Are the Benefits of Neighborhood Watch?
- You will be more aware of the types of crimes in your area and how to prevent them from happening to you. You will learn about crime prevention techniques to make your family, property, and neighborhood safer. You and your family will feel safer, which may be almost as important as actually being safe! You will meet more neighbors and develop new friendships. Your will have neighbors who will look out for your property when you are away and vice versa. You will have a sense of accomplishment from doing something about crime. Who knows? – you may just turn your neighborhood or apartment complex back into that old “Beaver Cleaver” kind of neighborhood where everyone knows each other.
- Neighborhood Watch Overview
- Know your neighbors.
- Be observant.
- Be aware of what is suspicious.
- Always report any suspicious activities and crimes to 911 and then inform your Neighborhood Watch Contact.
- Be knowledgeable about area crimes and the related prevention tips.
- Take simple crime prevention measures to avoid unnecessary crimes.
- Attend area Neighborhood Watch meetings.
- Volunteer with your area Neighborhood Watch organization.
Residents can also file a report online with Fairfax County by clicking here.
Pets - Lost & Found
The Sully Station II Neighborhood Watch helps owners and residents locate their pets if they are lost or a pet is found in our community. Losing a family pet can be a very frightening experience, but there are steps that can be taken to make sure pets stay safe, and are reunited to owners if lost. To increase your chance of getting your pet back, microchip your pet, and always keep current pictures and descriptions of your pet.
You can use this site to post a lost or found pet, and Neighborhood Watch can also send information out to their group email.
If your pet is lost or you have found a pet please provide Neighborhood Watch with the following:
A good picture, description of pet – such as type of pet, color of pet, male or female, does the pet have a collar or microchip, unique markings, anything to help identify your pet.
Protecting Family Pet
- As soon as you realize that your cat has gotten out, go out and look for it. Talk in the tone it is used to hearing, not screaming and yelling.
- Keep food and water out at all times. Put food in several places within a block or so from your home.
- Go out often to look – several times a day.
- Make flyers, with the animals picture and distribute to neighbors.
- Call your local veterinarians and let them know that you lost your cat.
- Contact Neighborhood Watch and ask them to post on this website and through their email group distribution.
- It is recommend that pet owners have their pets micro-chipped. All animals brought to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter who have been lost are checked for microchips first to make reunions faster and smoother.
Steps to take when a pet is lost:
- Don’t panic.
- Contact Neighborhood Watch and be prepared to answer questions about the animal’s breed, size, description, and veterinary history. Make sure to tell the person taking the report where the animal was lost, if it was not lost from a home address.
- Look for the animal. Most animals will respond to their owner’s call, even if the voice is far away.
- Make a flyer (include a picture) to distribute to neighbors
- Visit the Animal Shelter website and fill out a Lost or Found Pet report.