Changes Proposed for City’s Neighborhood Watch Group

Nation of Neighbors portal for College Park residents

In last night’s worksession, the Council discussed a set of recommendations for City’s Neighborhood Watch group to make it run more efficiently.

Due to concerns about the divided authority of the Neighborhood Watch leadership under the structure that the Council set up a couple years ago, and the lack of success in getting the Neighborhood Watch infrastructure built up, the existing Neighborhood Watch steering committee recently decided to propose a restructuring of the Neighborhood Watch leadership.

Specifically, the Steering Committee recommends:
1. Expanding the Committee membership from 3 to 5;
2. Have one appointee from each Council district, and one at-large appointment made by the Mayor;
3. Refocus steering committee efforts to adopt and provide support for an Internet communications system, using an established program, “Nation of Neighbors,” supported by the Committee and the City and made available for use by each Neighborhood Watch group in the City;
4. Assign the City’s Public Safety Officer the task of planning and implementing Neighborhood Watch training and developing a “Neighborhood Watch Academy” with the assistance of COPS officers and existing Neighborhood Watch leaders;
5. Utilize Committee members as “Nation of Neighbors” district monitors to provide points of contact with police, rumor control, and user input appropriateness;
6. Utilize the Committee to continue to provide recommendations to the Mayor & Council, and to support neighborhood program development; and
7. Encourage each neighborhood to develop programs unique to its demographic and volunteer participation.

The Committee also recommends returning the annual National Night Out event to individual neighborhood events instead of a centralized City event, and considering having a larger City Public Safety Day later in the year when more residents are around.

The Council will consider a resolution to reorganize these recommendations by the Committee.

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