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Just like Neighborhood Watch, members of an Apartment Watch learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and their community, and report crime and suspicious activities to the police. Here are some ways to get an Apartment Watch going and growing.
Help arrange with local police for apartment security surveys and Operation Identification.
Organize citizen patrols to walk around the apartment complex and alert police to crime and suspicious activities. Don't forget to patrol parking lots, stairways, laundry rooms, and playgrounds.
Publish a newsletter that gives local crime news, recognizes Apartment Watch captains, and highlights community activities.
Organize a reception in the lobby of your building or a cookout on common property so neighbors can get to know one another.
Keep pressure on management to make sure it provides adequate security.
Start a Safe Haven Program for children -- places where they can go in emergency or scary situations.
Check the complex on a regular basis for problems such as burned-out light bulbs, dark corridors, uncollected trash, or broken locks on mailboxes and doors. Report problems to the building manager.
Organize meetings to brainstorm how you can help each other, such as starting an escort service for the elderly or after-school care for children.