Neighborhood Watch Program
The Conewago Township Police Department established a “Neighborhood Watch” Program approximately six years ago. It was spurred by the Officers responding to calls and hearing, “this has been going on for two weeks” but no one had ever called police. There were many reasons for resident’s apprehension in calling. “I don’t want to call 911 because someone might have a real emergency” and “I don’t want to get involved, that’s the cop’s job”, etc.
In educating the residents in our meetings and through our “WATCH ALERTS”, this has all changed. Meetings were held informing the public that 911 lines have the capacity to handle emergency calls as well as suspected crime reports. Residents have been informed if police are alerted and witness violations in their response, citizens do not have to get involved. They have learned that protecting their neighborhoods requires their eyes and ears as well. Meeting attendance is NOT mandatory to be a Neighborhood Watch member or to receive e-mail Alerts.
The Police Department runs on information. The more information, the more efficient police can be, and respond where they are needed. Since the implementation of the Neighborhood Watch Program, the balance of call types has changed. We have seen an increase in resident’s reporting suspicious activity and a decrease in criminal mischief and thefts. We communicate to the residents in watch alerts letting them know what type of crime is occurring in the Township. We keep them informed what to be on the lookout for, whether it be a certain vehicle or suspect, and of things such as telephone scams and fraud mailings. Watch members have been very helpful in communicating to us these type contacts so this can be relayed to other residents in our Watch Alerts.
Overall, this program has been a great success! The Police Department has solved numerous investigations with the information provided by watch members. Vandalism and potential thefts have been prevented when police are given the “heads-up” and would be actors see the police cruiser rolling in. Requests for traffic enforcement are nailed down to the time of witnessed violations, providing safety while maximizing allotted patrol times. Drug activity is identified and provided to our County Drug Task Force.
I encourage everyone to become involved in the Neighborhood Watch Program. It is easy and it is FREE! Contact the Police Department and have your email address added to the distribution list. Contact us at (717) 637-0411 x309 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Neighborhood Watch Alerts let you know what is going on in the Township, right in your neighborhood. It also serves as a warning to scammers. You can also use our contact information to request traffic enforcement or to report something that just does not seem right or to answer any questions you may have. Together we will maintain a stronger, safer community.Return to Police Department Page