How Block Watch Works

Getting involved in the Berwick Block Watch

How does Berwick’s Block Watch Work?

The Berwick Block Watch organization has established a program that provides a method for neighbors helping neighbors. Berwick is a community of approximately 1600 homes/residences, all of whom take pride in their neighborhood.  The Berwick Block Watch Program is a free community-based crime prevention program under the Berwick Civic Association and supported by the Columbus Police Department.   Residents on a street or in a communication chain, aided by a block map of names and a phone tree list of its members.  They make a commitment to watch out for each other’s homes, and report suspicious activities to the police and each other.  They also keep each other informed about neighborhood occurrences, burglary, thefts, and other crimes or problems occurring on their street.

Goals of our Block Watch

The active involvement and participation of the Citizens of Berwick in the BCA Block Watch program will:

  • Increase Personal Safety
  • Increase Crime Awareness
  • Increase Reporting of Suspicious Activity
  • Increase Cohesiveness and Community spirit
  • Increase the Safety and Protection of Personal Property by increasing knowledge of security measures
  • Reduce Crime Rates
  • Reduce the Fear of Crime

Responsibilities of a Block Watch Captain/Co-captain

  • Attend a training/information session provided by your local police/block watch committee.
  • Canvass neighbors to explain the program and encourage participation
  • Maintain an accurate list and map of all participants and provide an update copy to your local block watch committee annually.
  • Host an initial meeting to implement the program
  • Ensure that yearly neighborhood meetings are held.
  • Act as a liaison between the police department and block watch participants by providing important crime information to participants when required
  • Set good example by initiating home security and target hardening measure in his/her own home.
  • Access as one method for providing a way of communication for BCA Block Watch information.
  • Welcome new residents by explaining the Block Watch program and encouraging participation.

Responsibilities of a Block Watch participant

  • Watch out for their neighbor and their neighbor’s property
  • Notify police of any suspicious activity or crime in progress
  • Report if they have been a victim of crime
  • Notify their Block Watch Captain if they have been a victim of a break and enter or other criminal/suspicious activity
  • Update security and hardware in their homes.
  • Mark all valuable with their driver’s license number
  • Distribute BCA Block Watch Decals
  • Attend Quarterly Block Watch meeting in Berwick.

What Block Watch members look for: suspicious activity

  • Someone screaming or shouting for help
  • Sounds of breaking glass or shattering wood
  • Unusual noises
  • Beam from flashlight or light in neighbor’s home
  • Persons going door to door
  • Someone looking into windows and parked cars
  • Persons waiting in front of a home or loitering around the neighborhood
  • A stranger in the back yard
  • Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or a business after it has closed
  • Property being carried by persons on foot
  • Property loaded into a vehicle or being removed from a vehicle
  • An opened or forced door or window
  • Strange vehicles parked at your neighbor’s house
  • Slow moving vehicles cruising the block
  • Someone being forced into a vehicle
  • A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child
  • Abandoned cars

Remember if you see a situation that doesn’t feel right, it’s suspicious.  Write down the description of any suspicious persons.  Get the model, color, and license numbers of strange vehicles. Call the police immediately. Don’t assume someone else has called.  If criminal activity has occurred let your Block Watch Captain and neighbors know but CALL THE POLICE FIRST!

Columbus Police: 645-4545 or 911 in an emergency

Block Watch Contacts:

Officer Jarrod James
Columbus Police Department
Neighborhood Liaison Officer, Precinct 9

Telephone Number: 645-1409


Bruce Black

BCA Block Watch Chair