Captain James Atchley
100 N. Stateline Avenue
Texarkana, Arkansas 71854
Phone: (903) 798-3130
The Texarkana Police Department’s Services Division is responsible for recruiting, training, finance, uniforms and equipment, maintenance of the fleet and related equipment, providing public information through the PIO, and many other issues that may arise. In addition, the division is responsible for providing services to the community such as,
• Neighborhood Watch
• Citizens Police Academy
• Pride Academy
• Crime Prevention Survey’s and Tips
• National Night Out
• Shop with a Cop
Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, Town Watch, Crime Watch – whatever the name, it’s one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear in your neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch Programs fight the isolation and separation that crime creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents and businesses, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve.
Neighborhood Watch is the cornerstone of the TAPD’s crime prevention strategy. It enlists the active participation of residents, in cooperation with law enforcement, to reduce crime in communities throughout the city.
The Neighborhood Watch program was instituted by the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department to educate community residents regarding their roles and responsibilities in the prevention of crime, and to encourage them to take active measures to prevent crime. The program calls upon residents to step forward and assist the police in organizing the community into a cohesive unit working toward the goal of building a safer, crime-free neighborhood. Neighborhood Watch groups discuss neighborhood crime problems with the objective of developing solutions to local problems. Texarkana Arkansas Police Officers supply crime information to neighborhood watch organizations and instruct these groups in various crime prevention techniques.
The continuity and success of the Neighborhood Watch program hinges on the person referred to as the Block Captain. The “Block Captain” is a community member who acts as a liaison between those who work and/or live in a particular area, and the officers assigned to that area. Through the Block Captain, and through neighborhood general meetings, officers pass along crime prevention tips and information to members of the community. This liaison is maintained on an informal basis within the framework of the Neighborhood Watch group.
The ABC’s of Neighborhood Watch
You can form a Watch group around any geographical unit: a block, apartment, park, business area, public housing complex, or office. A few concerned residents, a community organization, or a law enforcement agency can spearhead the effort to organize a Neighborhood Watch. Any community resident can join – young or old, single or married, renter or homeowner.
Members learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report activities that raise their suspicions to the police department. Watch groups are not vigilantes. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors. Neighborhood Watch helps build pride and serves as a springboard for efforts that address community concerns such as recreation for youth, child care, and affordable housing.
When a group decides to form a Neighborhood Watch, it:
Contacts the police department or local crime prevention organization for help in training members in home security and reporting skills and for information on local crime patterns
Selects a coordinator and block captains who are responsible for organizing meetings and relaying information to members
Recruits members, keeps up-to-date on new residents and makes special efforts to involve the elderly, working parents, and young people
Works with local government and law enforcement to put up Neighborhood Watch signs, usually after at least 50 percent of all households in a neighborhood are enrolled
What Neighborhood Watch Members Look For
Someone screaming or shouting for help.
Someone looking into windows and parked cars.
Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or a business is closed.
Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination, or without lights.
Anyone being forced into a vehicle.
A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child.
“Report these incidents to the police department. Talk about the problem with your neighbors.”
How to Report
Give your name and address.
Briefly describe the event – what happened, when, where, and who was involved.
Describe the suspect: sex and race, age, height, weight, hair color, clothing, distinctive characteristics such as beard, mustache, scars, tatoos or accent.
Describe the vehicle if one was involved: color, make, model, year, license plate, and special features such as stickers, dents, or decals.
Keeping Your Neighborhood Watch Alive
It’s an unfortunate fact that when a neighborhood crime crisis goes away, so does enthusiasm for Neighborhood Watch. Work to keep your Watch group a vital force for community well-being.
Organize regular meetings that focus on current issues such as drug abuse, “hate” or bias-motivated violence, crime in schools, child care before and after school, recreational activities for young people, and victim services.
Organize community patrols to walk around streets or apartment complexes and alert police to crime and suspicious activities and identify problems needing attention. People in cars with cellular phones or CB radios can patrol.
Adopt a park or school playground. Pick up litter, repair broken equipment, paint over graffiti.
Work with local building code officials to require dead bolt locks, smoke alarms, and other safety devices in new and existing homes and commercial buildings.
Publish a newsletter that gives prevention tips and local crime news, recognizes residents of all ages who have “made a difference,” and highlights community events.
Don’t forget social events that give neighbors a chance to know each other – a block party, potluck dinner, volleyball or softball game, picnic.
If you have any questions about any programs or services, please contact the services division at 903-798-3130.