City of College Park, Maryland

Boards & Commissions

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch (NW) is a grass roots program organized by concerned residents interested in reducing crime in their communities. Working together with Prince George’s County Police and Neighborhood Watch organizers, residents learn what steps they can take to better secure their homes and safeguard their valuables. NW participants also benefit from a communication network to learn about crimes, vandalism, and suspicious activity reported in their neighborhoods. The program has been proven to reduce crime and bring communities closer together.

The City of College Park endorses the Neighborhood Watch program as a tool residents can use for crime prevention. Through an initiative by the City Council, the Neighborhood Watch Steering Committee has been established. The Steering Committee networks with existing Neighborhood Watch groups and helps to launch new Watch groups.

The City of College Park does not have its own municipal police force; Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) is the primary source of police services for City residents. In addition, the City provides supplemental police services through contracted PGPD officers. The City is located in police District I, sometimes referred to as “the Hyattsville District.”

The University of Maryland has its own police force, which primarily serves the campus and nearby property owned or leased by the University. University of Maryland Police also has concurrent jurisdiction in the Downtown, Old Town, and Lord Calvert Manor sections of the city. Other police agencies with concurrent jurisdiction in some areas of the City include MNCPPC-Park Police, Metro Transit Police, and Maryland State Police.


CRIME PREVENTION TIPS
The most frequently reported crimes in College Park are property crime, including: Thefts, Thefts from Auto, Vandalism, Residential Break-Ins, and Stolen Vehicles. Still, as in any urban area, personal crimes such as robberies and assaults do occur. The CPNW Steering Committee suggests residents observe the following safety and crime prevention tips:

  • Park your car in a well lit area. Always keep car doors locked and windows shut tight. Do not leave anything visible in your car that might tempt a thief. Do not leave keys in your car or leave a running vehicle nattended. Keep windows closed and doors locked while you are refueling your vehicle.
  • Use caution when walking alone especially after dark. When possible, walk with another person, or alter your route to avoid isolated or dark areas. Pedestrians walking home from nearby Metrorail stations or using the many hiker/biker trails after dark should also exercise caution.
  • Use a high quality U-shaped lock, when securing a bicycle. Bicycles are frequent targets of thieves.
  • Make sure your home appears occupied, day and night. Play a radio or television when you are gone. Keep several indoor lights on timers, and keep outside lights on all night.
  • Be aware of activity on your street; keep an eye on anyone going door-to-door. If the person tries a door to see if it is locked, looks into a window, or goes into a back or side yard, call the police immediately.
  • Above all, report all crime and suspicious activity to the Prince George’s County Police Department. Call 9-1-1 for emergencies and crimes in progress, including recurring suspicious activity, anytime a possible criminal is still in the area. Contact the Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications Center at 301-352-1200 for non-emergency police services, such as vandalism discovered after the suspects are gone, etc.
  • Keep these important numbers near your telephone or saved in your contacts list.
City of College Park
Law Enforcement Directory
Emergency (Police – Fire – Rescue) 9-1-1

Non - Emergency
Prince George’s County Police Department via the
Public Safety Communications Center
M-NCPPC Park Police 
Maryland State Police 
Metro Transit Police 
University of Maryland Police

301-352-1200
301-459-9088
301-345-3101
202-962-2121
301-405-3555


USEFUL LINKS

Learn more about Neighborhood Watch from USAonWatch.org

Auto Burglary Prevention Tips

Description of Neighborhood Watch and Suspicious Activity

Home Security Inspection Checklist

Neighborhood Watch Program Coordinator Role

Neighborhood Watch Program Block Captain’s Role