When neighbors work together with the Golden Valley Police Department (GVPD), it creates the best crime-fighting team around. The GVPD cannot have an officer on every corner, so involvement from residents is essential in preventing crime. Be a good neighbor and make our community safer from criminals by participating in Neighborhood Watch.
To provide better communication and more timely updates to participants, in 2019 the GVPD updated its Neighborhood Watch program. This involved redrawing the borders of zones to reflect Golden Valley's changing population and transitioning to electronic delivery as the primary form of communication.
- What is Neighborhood Watch?
- Starting a Neighborhood Watch
- Maintaining a Neighborhood Watch
- Zone-Based Crime Alerts
- Upcoming Zone Meetings
Started in 1972 by the National Sheriff’s Organization, Neighborhood Watch is the cornerstone of all crime prevention programs. It enlists the active participation of residents, in cooperation with police, to reduce crimes in the community.
Neighborhood Watch is a critical communications tool for our community. It helps the GVPD inform you about crime in Golden Valley and how criminals are operating. There are many misconceptions, often supported by stories from other parts of the country, about how criminals operate. Neighborhood Watch educates you about local crime trends and criminals.
The more you know about crime, the better you’ll be able to recognize suspicious activity in your neighborhood and report it by calling 911. That gives police the opportunity to check out what may or may not be a crime and perhaps prevent a criminal from making another victim in our community. .
Neighborhood Watch also gives the GVPD the opportunity to answer your questions and learn about your concerns so we may serve you better.
Neighborhood Watch street signs warn criminals that they are in an active Neighborhood Watch area and that neighbors are watching out for each other and will call the police.
To begin, work with the GVPD to arrange an introduction meeting between neighbors and the GVPD. The GVPD will talk about crime in Golden Valley, how local criminals operate, what to recognize as suspicious, how to use 911, how to protect yourself and your home, and what a difference Neighborhood Watch can make.
Benefits to Neighborhood Watch
Once the GVPD receives a copy of your block map, Neighborhood Watch street signs will be posted in your neighborhood. These signs warn criminals that your Neighborhood Watch group immediately reports all suspicious activity and communicates with the police.
For this program to continue to grow and benefit the community, help from residents is needed. We ask that you and your neighbors attend one or both of the annual meetings with the GVPD (see meeting dates below) and have one social gathering each year. You and your neighbors can choose your own social gathering—the idea is to get the neighbors together. (Many groups use their Minnesota's Night To Unite celebrations as a social gathering.)
For Neighborhood Watch groups to maintain active status, it’s important that they:
- have a block captain or co-captains
- welcome new neighbors (block captains) and provide them with resources (Neighborhood Watch Manual and block map)
- hold at least one neighborhood gathering each year (i.e., block party, Night to Unite, etc)
- have an up-to-date block map with the information neighbors want to share (names/children’s names/pets/email/phone)
- have Neighborhood Watch signs posted on their streets
- develop a way to communicate within their neighborhoods (start an e-group on Google/Yahoo/Nextdoor.com, develop a phone tree to advise neighbors of any issues in the neighborhood, etc)
- share information with neighbors that may not have email/Internet
Block Captain Responsibilities
Neighborhood Watch block captains are responsible for keeping up-to-date block maps, distributing meeting information, encouraging attendance, and organizing Minnesota's Night To Unite celebrations and any other social gatherings. If desired, block captains can schedule meetings with the GVPD.
When warranted, the GVPD will issue zone-based crime alerts to notify residents of a current crime trend. To find your zone, use the Neighborhood Watch zone map (double-click or use the zoom tool to locate your street).
With the creation of the new zone map, the GVPD is asking residents to sign up for the new zone-based crime alerts, even if you have signed up before. Many residents will discover they are now in a new zone. Sign up for zone-based crime alerts.
Interactive Crime Map
The City’s online interactive crime map (below) provides search by neighborhood for current reported crimes as well as basic information about each event.
The GVPD hosts one Neighborhood Watch meeting each year and will continue to offer Neighborhood Watch meetings for new groups and individual neighborhoods upon request. The annual meeting includes a crime prevention refresher, an update on crime patterns and trends in Golden Valley, and more.
Per Minnesota State Statute 13.37, personal information (name, address, phone, email) of anyone who participates in a crime prevention program, like Neighborhood Watch, is considered nonpublic data and will not be shared.