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Organizing an Arson Watch Program

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A wide variety of participants are needed to launch a successful Neighborhood Arson Mobile Watch program. In this section, necessary participants are listed, along with a description of the kind of support needed from each. As many of you know, implementing a community-based project requires the interest, cooperation, and support from many people. But it all is definitely worthwhile!

Increasing the safety of a neighborhood benefits everyone from children and parents, to local businesses. Not only does reducing arson activities in our area increase everyone's quality of life, but it can also help increase property values. We are aiming for zero tolerance for arsons and quicker response from natural fires.


The local Chamber of Commerce is the ideal organization to coordinate the program. They should be asked to help build interest in the program by announcing the program to its members at meetings, and running press releases in newsletters or membership mailings. (Be sure to check the press release section for samples). The Chamber of Commerce should also be requested to act as liaison between their members and the Local, State and Federal Agencies. They will need to schedule with the USDA Forestry Service, Fire Department and Community Relations Officer of the Police Department a time to come and talk to their members, (more than one meeting may be necessary). Once the program is started, Chambers collect and keep track of participants and schedule training sessions, and issues certificates of completion to participants (a nice touch!). In addition to training, signage and print material are needed. The Chamber can contract one of their members to make the magnetic signs and order the cling stickers with the imprinted logos, and print flyers. Other tasks that Chambers can perform to increase the success of the program are to create a list of target participants, send flyers to these targeted businesses and individuals, and alert media sources.


Local Radio stations are very supportive of the community. Request that they play public service announcements. Also, you will find that local newspaper will place flyers in the papers to announce the project, local cable stations will tape video of participants driving down the street and interview seminar participants.


This will be the person who provides the necessary phone calls and keeps all the different groups happy and coordinates the program. It is best to have a prominent volunteer type individual for this, someone who is already known for the community involvement; maybe even sits on a few non-profit boards and municipal committees. Someone everyone likes. The Chairperson will be in charge of making great quotes in the media, organizing participants and volunteers and scheduling meetings. Follow ups, thank you letters and personal invitations. Also keeping track of all the events and making agendas and cooperating with neighboring cities that follow this plan later. Other responsibilities include interfacing with non-profit groups to make sure they can participate, and contacting Board of Realtors, Rotary, Kiwanis, Optimist, Lions, Elks, clubs etc. In short, an ombudsman to council people, Mayor and City Manager. Setting up a Neighborhood Arson Watch Program in your community can be rewarding and save you and your family from harm and perhaps maybe even someone's life. If you would like more information, please visit our free online 21-page E-Book at:

Review this information and discuss it with your local community leadership and see what you come up with, perhaps this might help? If you decide that such a program is beyond your available time to insure its success, please feel free to pass this information on.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance;

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