National Neighborhood Watch – a Division of the National Sheriffs' Association

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USAonWatch® Statement on the Role of Neighborhood Watch Programs in Local Communities

The USAonWatch®-Neighborhood Watch Program and National Sheriffs' Association (NSA), based on recent public media reports, is aware of an incident that occurred late last month, in a Sanford, Florida community, in which a reported "neighborhood watch leader" shot a teenager. The NSA, through its USAonWatch®-Neighborhood Watch program, is committed to making communities, across the country, safer by working with local law enforcement agencies to reduce crime and improve communities for those who live and work there.

Since 1972, the USAonWatch®-Neighborhood Watch Program (housed within the National Sheriffs' Association) has worked to unite law enforcement agencies, private organizations, and individual citizens in a nation-wide effort to reduce crime and improve local communities. The success of the program has established Neighborhood Watch as the nation's premier crime prevention and community mobilization program. More than 25,000 Neighborhood Watch groups, across the country, are currently registered with the USAonWatch®-Neighborhood Watch registry. Our nation is built on the strength of our citizens. USAonWatch® empowers citizens to become active partners in community, crime-fighting efforts, through participation in Neighborhood Watch groups.

NSA has no information that indicates that the community where the incident occurred has ever registered with USAonWatch® - Neighborhood Watch program. Neighborhood Watch is based on the premise that the role of watch groups is only to serve as the eyes and ears of law enforcement. We encourage individual groups to work directly with their local law enforcement agencies to develop procedures for reporting suspicious activities. At no time, do we advocate any intervention actions by any watch group or individual.

For additional information on the USAonWatch®-Neighborhood Watch Program or to find a Neighborhood Watch group in your area - www.usaonwatch.org.

Contact- Chris Tutko ctutko@sheriffs.org

Released - March 15, 2012