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Community Participation in Homeland Security: Report of the National Watch Groups Summit

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2008
40 pages
This report presents documents prepared for and recommendations stemming from the National Watch Groups Summit (May 30-31, 2007), which gave watch groups a national perspective on crime prevention and homeland security and enabled participants to share information on what makes a watch group successful.
In preparation for the Summit, the National Crime Prevention Council conducted a literature review, a needs assessment, and a program management review that obtained insights from practitioners and helped shape the Summit's content and direction. Summit participants represented a variety of watch groups, including Block Watch, Business Watch, Farm Watch, Waterways Watch, and other watch groups associated with distinctive domains of public safety. The Summit produced eight recommendations for further action. It recommends the creation of a mechanism for coordinating national support for the diverse array of watch groups, as well as the convening of a second, larger National Watch Groups Summit to facilitate information-sharing among diverse watch groups and identify what makes watch groups successful. Other recommendations include the creation of a "best practices" document for dissemination to watch groups across the country, assistance in training for a range of skills for watch-group members, and increased training and action by law enforcement agencies in involving community members in public safety efforts. Appended descriptions of watch group programs and the summit agenda. 8 figures