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How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Association

Safer Neighborhoods in 6 Easy Steps

A Neighborhood Watch Association is started and underway in just six easy steps:

  1. Talk to your fellow neighbors.  See who in your neighborhood is interested in forming a Neighborhood Watch Association.  If you would like handouts or additional information, please contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 651-266-7339 or via email.  These materials will be provided at no cost. 

  2. Contact the Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit to schedule a time to learn more about Neighborhood Watch.  With the support of your fellow neighbors and community members, the Crime Prevention Unit schedules a date, time, and location to meet with the neighborhood.  At this informational meeting, questions are answered and more is learned about the program.  

  3. Invite Neighbors and Community Members to Attend and Join the First Meeting.  At your first Neighborhood Watch meeting, your potential association members will receive information regarding the the program.  Topics explored include how to make your neighborhood a less desirable target to potential criminals, crime statistics from your area, personal safety, and communication tools.  Participation in Neighborhood Watch is totally voluntary, and the greater the participation the greater the potential benefit.

  4. Elect a Block Captain.  By the end of the first meeting, a block captain and co-captain (optional) will need to be selected by the neighborhood. 

  5. Display Neighborhood Watch Signs.  Signs will be provided and posted in your neighborhood by your city’s public works department.  There is no cost to the neighborhood watch group for signage. 

  6. Stay active.  Talk with your neighbors.  Stay alert and report suspicious activity.  Help organize, attend, and celebrate Night to Unite.  Join the Sheriff’s Office for neighborhood awareness education events.


All neighborhoods are encouraged to become part of Neighborhood Watch.  Association members must attend two meetings per year.

  • One meeting is a social meeting.  Groups are highly encouraged to participate in Night to Unite for the social meeting requirement.
  • One meeting is a business meeting to discuss prevention tips, trends, and other concerns.
  • Neighborhood Watch Block Captains (or alternate) must attend quarterly meetings hosted by the Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit and then share the information with their neighborhood.   Captain must also maintain a listing of current association members. 

More Information

For more information, please contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 651-266-7339 or via email.


Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office
Minnesota's First Law Enforcement Agency - Established 1849

Sheriff Matt Bostrom