October is National Crime Prevention Month

A neighborhood watch program can help prevent crime as well as give residents an opportunity to look after their neighbors.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Arizona will hold events Oct.

19 to promote Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods.

The GAIN program, in its fifth year, promotes neighborhood watch programs and other crime prevention activities.

October is National Crime Prevention Month.

Although the Kingman Police Department or the Mohave County Sheriff's Office will not hold any special events that day, they encourage residents to form a neighborhood watch programs, Kingman police Cpl.

Tracie Homer said.

Neighborhood watch programs can be the eyes and ears of law enforcement, she added.

Watch groups can be formed for apartment complexes, mobile home parks or home associations.

To have a Kingman officer or county sheriff's deputy assigned to a meeting, notify the departments at least two weeks before the meeting.

Home-security handbooks, block maps and data sheets can be ordered through the National Neighborhood Watch Institute.

Kingman police also provide home security checklists.

"We encourage residents to turn on exterior lights and keep car and house doors and windows locked," Homer said.

During the first neighborhood meeting, members should set aside time for introductions or to elect a block captain or coordinator who works with police.

Groups should hold meetings every three months.

Topics at the meeting could include cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid, fire prevention, latchkey children, vandalism prevention and problems in a particular neighborhood, Homer said.

Members can designate a safe haven, a place where children, who are alone, can go to if they are frightened.

Single seniors also can team up for safety.

Block watches can also expand into block clean-ups, garage sales, exercise groups and disaster preparedness meetings, she said.

For information on a neighborhood watch programs, contact Homer at 753-2191 or the sheriff's office at 753-0753.