In April 1976, the City of Indianapolis, The Indianapolis News, and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee put together the concepts that have guided the existing CrimeWatch Program. The purpose of CrimeWatch is to create a self-help cooperative effort to reduce crime and the fear of crime in neighborhoods. This is achieved by citizens, law enforcement, and local government working together.
CrimeWatch is a division of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Citizens participating in this program become more aware of crime prevention techniques that can help lower their risk of becoming victims. A pro-active approach against crime is taken through communication and cooperation of citizens, local government and law enforcement.
Over time, CrimeWatch has developed additional programs in response to the needs of the community. These programs also promote crime prevention education. The CrimeWatch Program continues to find innovative ways in responding to the needs of the community, with crime prevention education being it’s primary goal.
Organizing neighborhood block clubs has been the primary focus of CrimeWatch since it’s inception in 1976. A few concerned residents, a community organization, or a law enforcement agency can spearhead the efforts to organize a block club.
To organize a block club, residents are required to have two meetings, one with their IMPD District CrimeWatch Specialist and the other with their IMPD Community Relations Officer. During these meetings, members receive training on in home security, reporting skills, and other crime prevention topics. Members are provided with the latest information on local crime patterns Block Clubs are not asked to be vigilantes or to assume the role of the police. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors. CrimeWatch programs help to build pride and serve as a springboard for efforts that address community concerns.