The Park Watch program is similar to a neighborhood watch program, but its focus is on the public parks that are enjoyed by many in our community. It is offered in conjunction with the West Chester Police Department and West Chester Community Services and is just one step taken by local law enforcement to protect our parks.
The program is designed to encourage volunteers to monitor and report activity within our parks that may be in violation of park rules, suspicious and/or potentially dangerous. The purpose of Park Watch is to involve and educate the park visitor and neighbors about crime-related problems in our park facilities and work together on solutions.
Active Park Watch volunteers may apply through the West Chester Police Department (see below), but anyone can become a more observant park attendee and report suspicious and/or potentially dangerous situations to the police by calling 777-2231 (non-emergency) or 911.
Park Watch Program
Registered Park Watch participants will be taught how to observe and report criminal activity to police and support a safer park environment.
Volunteers are never asked to pursue or apprehend a criminal, or become involved in the actual event (other than reporting the incident to police from a safe vantage point). Park Watch volunteers and park visitors in general are asked to be observant and concerned. When an individual sees something that requires the attention of police, they are encouraged to call police. If someone is seen breaking a park rule or committing a crime, Park Watch volunteers are asked NOT TO TAKE ACTION ON THEIR OWN. THIS IS A JOB FOR THE POLICE.
Registered Park Watch volunteers will undergo some training and will receive notice of specific issues occurring within the parks. Typically, they will be asked to simply monitor the parks during their regular use of the facility. They may be requested to help with more proactive patrols and, on occasion, be assigned on a volunteer basis to certain parks that have a need for added enforcement.
Park Watch volunteers must complete the application and undergo a background check. They will receive a sticker for their vehicle.
For more information, call West Chester Police at 759-7280.
Park Watch Rules & Responsibilities
- Park Watch is not a vigilante group. Do not take matters into your own hands.
- Do not attempt to pursue or apprehend criminals. Call the Police from a safe vantage point.
- Do not endanger yourself or others.
Reporting Crimes and Suspicious Activity
- To report an emergency, dial 911. The appropriate police, EMS or fire personnel will be dispatched.
- Non-life-threatening emergencies, suspicious persons or activity, and violations of park rules may be reported by dialing (513) 777-2231. The appropriate police, fire or EMS will be dispatched. IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT, CALL.
What Should I Report?
- Obviously any life-threatening emergency should be reported.
- Any suspicious activity or suspicious individuals.
- Any dumping or littering.
- Any violation of park rules.
- Any damage or vandalism.
- Any other activity requiring police attention.
What Can I Expect When I Report A Crime?
- The dispatcher will ask if you are safe and then will gather as much information from you as possible to relay to responding emergency units.
- A "call back" number may be requested so the dispatcher may call you back if additional information is needed.
- An officer will be dispatched to the area to handle the problem. You may be contacted after the situation is resolved to get additional information. This may be done by telephone.