Community Watch

Community Watch, Block Watch, Town Watch, Crime Watch, whatever the name, it is one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear. Community Watch forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relationships between the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, and our communities.

You & Community Watch

Community Watch is neighbors working with neighbors and the Sheriff’s Office to prevent crime. The Community Watch program is based on the concept of people looking out for one another and to send a message to potential criminals that someone is watching every move they make.
Warning community watch Iredell County Sheriff's Office 878-3100 or 911

How to Organize a Community Watch Group

  • Define the area for the Community Watch. The community should identify the streets, the block number range on each street and the numbers of houses/units involved. The Community Watch Information Form in the Chairperson’s Packet should be filled out with this information.
  • Organize a meeting in a home, church, community building or school and invite everybody who will be within the boundaries of the Community Watch: residences, businesses, churches. Everyone is a potential crime victim so encourage everyone to attend the meeting.
  • Invite a member of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office to the meeting by contacting the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit at 704-878-3180. The officer will explain everyone’s role in Community Watch; offer home security tips and provide advice on reporting suspicious activities and crimes.
  • In order to become an Active Community Watch you will need to have 50% of the total amount of residents, within the defined boundaries, in attendance at the meeting.
  • Select a chairperson and block captains. The chairperson will be the key contact with the Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Specialists and Response Area Officers. The block captains should assist the chairperson in keeping the community informed.
  • If the community does have a majority of the neighborhood represented at this meeting, 1 Sheriff’s Community Watch sign will be issued. Additional signs can be purchased through the Sheriff’s Office. The community will then be considered an Active Neighborhood Watch. To remain an Active Community Watch the community must have at least 2 meetings a year with an Iredell County Sheriff’s deputy in attendance.
    • If the community does not have 2 meetings within the year they would be deemed inactive and would be asked that the sign(s) would be removed until reactivated.
    • To reactivate the Neighborhood Watch, the community must organize another meeting with a majority of the residents present and have an Iredell County Sheriff's Crime Prevention Officer in attendance.

Active Community Watch

community Watch participants are the extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors. They help build pride and serve as a catalyst in efforts to address community concerns and solve problems. Participants are not asked to be vigilantes or to assume the role of the sheriff’s deputies.

Maintaining an Active Community Watch

The installation of Community Watch Signs at your neighborhood entrance should not be a signal that your task is completed. Actually, this event marks the beginning of many responsibilities on the part of your newly established Community Watch. To insure that your program remains active and interest remains strong, the following suggestions should be implemented:
  • Set up an annual update meeting plan quarterly neighborhood events such as a block party, cookouts, kid’s day, etc.
  • Participate in National Night Out, the first Tuesday of August each year
  • Send out a monthly or bimonthly newsletter
  • Set up an email or phone information tree

Being a Nosy Neighbor

If you see an actual crime being committed, a suspected crime or threatening situations, call 911.
  • Watch out for your neighbor’s home when they are away. Become familiar with who belongs and who doesn’t and know your neighbor’s vehicles.
  • Tell your neighbors and Block Captains when you’re going to be away so they can watch your home.
  • Engrave your property with your North Carolina driver’s license number and keep a written inventory of your property along with the serial numbers.

Operation ID

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office strongly recommends that you complete an inventory of the property inside your home. Keep your records in a safe place and continue to update it when new items are purchased.

Engraving personal items is also recommended. Some burglars will avoid your home if they think that your valuables are marked. Often marked items are more difficult for criminals to sell. A more important reason to mark or engrave your property, however, is that these items are much more easily identified and returned to you when Sheriff’s Deputies recover them. When engraving follow these tips:
  • Use your driver’s license number for engraving, and place a star (asterisk) after the last digit. (For example, North Carolina Drivers License (NCDL) 1234567*) Do not use your Social Security Number.
  • Mark the items in a prominent place that can be seen without taking anything apart.
  • Keep a list of all the engraved items. Keep this information in a locked fireproof box, if available.
  • As an added measure of protection photograph or videotape items which cannot be easily engraved or that would affect the value if a mark were placed on it (i.e. silver, jewelry, etc.)