Block Watch : Start a Block Watch | Information for Captains | Block Watch FAQs
STEPS TO Start a Block Watch
Select One Block Captain and One Co-Captain
Each Captain and Co-Captain must submit an application and be deemed a suitable candidate by completing a telephone interview and a free police record check. The Captain is usually the primary VPD contact for a Block Watch group. You determine the Captain structure that suits your group, i.e., you can have two Captains or two Co-Captains, or as many Captains and Co-Captains as you feel is appropriate for your group. If you are unable to identify a Co-Captain, please contact the Block Watch office for an exemption.
Building Your Block Watch Group
- Residential Areas & Townhouses: Start by involving the residents on the street(s) that the Captain(s) and Co-Captain(s) live on. Involve the homes on your alley side, facing your front door, and the ends of the next block. Work towards getting participation from at least 10 households. Only residents on streets directly connected to the Captain and Co-Captain will be approved for official coverage and can be included on your map.
- Condos/Apartments: You only need to involve residents within your complex. If there is more than one complex, it is suggested that you recruit a Captain and/or Co-Captain for each individual site. Notify your strata council or building manager that you are initiating a Block Watch. You are welcome to invite residents outside your complex, but it is preferable to encourage them to start their own Block Watch group.
- Inviting Neighbours Into Your Group: First invite the households who you know and trust, and then ask them to refer you to households they know and trust, and so on. If you cannot meet the 10-household minimum, please call (604) 717-2858 for an exemption.
- List of Participating Households: The Application Package includes a "New VPD Block Watch Group Participant List" to assist you in gathering the names and contact information of neighbours who would like to participate. Explain that their contact information is used to form a communication chain between group members, enabling you all to share alerts about suspicious, criminal and other relevant activity so everyone is promptly informed about what is going on in the area / neighbourhood.
- Be inclusive: You will also need to identify ways to communicate with members who do not have access to computers or e-mail.
Submit Completed Application Package
Mail or drop off your application package to 2120 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V6R 1S5. Scanned application(s) or packages can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Captain(s) and Co-Captain(s) Attend a Training Session
Once background checks are successfully completed, Captains and Co-Captains are required to attend a Saturday training session held at 2120 Cambie Street, 1:00 to 5:00 pm.
Arrange Your First Annual Block Watch Group Meeting
After the Captain/Co-Captain training session, organize your first annual Block Watch meeting with your group on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening. The Block Watch Investigations and Training Officer will come to your neighbourhood and train your group. You will be provided with Block Watch supplies for each participating household. The training session gives your neighbours an opportunity to get to know each other, learn advanced suspect identification and police reporting skills, discuss common neighbourhood concerns, set up your communication chain, and ask questions of the police officer you will be liaising with.
Complete the Block Watch Activation Process
Submit a Block Watch Map and Participant List of your group to the Block Watch office. Only Block Watch groups that have held their first meeting and submitted a Block Watch map/participating household list are eligible to receive their Block Watch street signs.