Completing the Research Proposal
This week you expand upon your draft of the research proposal. Revise the draft proposal as needed and add a population and sample section, a research design section, and a data collection method section. This completed proposal should be 6 – 8 pages in length and include a minimum of five resources.
Add the following three sections to the end (but before the reference page) of your revised draft proposal (Remember, the draft should already contain the following sections: Title page, Introduction, Review of Literature, Variables, Hypothesis and Reference page).
Format your work consistent with APA guidelines.
Neighborhood Watch Proposal 1
Unit 9 Proposal: Neighborhood Watch Programs
CJ 490 Research Methods in Criminal Justice
Neighborhood Watch Proposal 2
Neighborhood Watch Programs
The term “home,” can have several meanings to many different people. But most
people associate this word with their place of residence or where they seek refuge. Of all places,
a person’s home should not be a place they fear falling victim to crime, but instead, as a place
where they feel safe and secure. When a person comes home after a long day of work to discover
their home has been broken into and all of their prized possessions have been stolen, it is normal
to feel angry, and violated because that’s what it is, a violation. For the most part, burglaries are
a crime of opportunity. A burglar can sit and watch someone’s house all day and know exactly
what time they go to work and return home. According to the Texas Crime Statistics and Rates
Report, in 2009 there were 240,233 burglary incidents and a total of 995,145 property crime
incidents in Texas (“Texas Crime Statistics,” n.d.). Reports from 2012 are already showing an
increase in these numbers compared to 2009 (“Texas crime statistics,” n.d.). This is alarming and
neighborhood watch could be the solution. In 1972, the National Sheriffs’ Association founded
the Neighborhood Watch Program with the intentions of helping police reduce crimes in
neighborhoods (Campbell, n.d.). While the main focuses of Neighborhood Watch programs are
to prevent crime, they may also educate and strengthen the community.
Review of Literature:
Almost 2 years ago, residents of Salisbury, New Hampshire lost their police department
when their 2-man force suddenly resigned. Since then, they have been unable to fill the empty
Neighborhood Watch Proposal 3
positions, so the state police have been providing coverage for the community. Members of the
Salisbury community are now looking to create a neighborhood watch program, not to replace
law enforcement, but to enhance the coverage already being supplied by the state (McCrystal,
2012). The idea of a neighborhood watch program in this community already exists, it’s just not
formalized. Many residents already watch for suspicious people or behavior so formalizing the
program will simply give them someone to call when suspicious behavior or activity does take
place. Members of the Salisbury community have great reason to push for the implementation of
Neighborhood Watch programs. Not only is it believed to reduce crime, but it is also thought to
bring the community together as well.
According to the St. Petersburg, FL police department, Neighborhood Crime Watch is
one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear (Uniform
Services Bureau, n.d.). They strongly feel that their neighborhood watch program reduces crime
and brings the department and the members of the community together. They accomplish this by
holding meetings, assigning members to monitor the neighborhood (citizens’ patrol), having
Regular discussions between the neighbors, Crime Prevention Officers and Community Police
Officers, and by holding special events to inform the public about the program and its purpose.
Burglary and vandalism are two of the main crimes that haunt all members of every
community and neighborhood watch programs help deter this type of behavior. While these
programs have many names, Crime Watch, Block Watch, or Community Watch, its success
comes from the commitment of the police department and the members of the community to
come together and fight crime. Thousands of neighborhood watch programs exist across the U.S.
Neighborhood Watch Proposal 4
because it is thought to be one of the most effective ways members of communities can reduce
crime in their neighborhoods. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community
Policing Services led a meta-analysis of studies on neighborhood watch programs and
determined that neighborhoods with watch programs had 16 percent less crime in comparison to
neighborhoods without watch programs (Holloway, Bennett, & Farrington, 2008). Burglary is
one of the most widespread crimes committed and it makes up more than one third of the index
crimes in the United States (Uniform Crime Reports, 2013). Not only are people’s residences
threatened when this crime is committed, but some even lose their life by inadvertently walking
in on an unsuspecting burglar. Neighborhood watch programs are designed to spot suspicious
behavior; thus it is successful in preventing this type of crime. In addition, Neighborhood Watch
signs and decals provided to the program from law enforcement allows them to display their
existence which deters criminals from their neighborhood.
Problem, Theory, Variables, and Hypothesis:
Problem Statement: Neighborhoods without watch groups may have high crime rates.
Theory: Neighborhood watch groups should decrease crime in general and burglary specifically.
Independent Variable (Cause): Watch Program
Indicator: program either exists or it doesn’t.
Neighborhood Watch [ ] yes [ ] no
Dependent Variable (Outcome): Average Crime Rate
Indicator: average number of burglaries per month in 20 specific geographic areas
Neighborhood Watch Proposal 5
Hypothesis: Neighborhoods with watch programs are less likely to have burglaries than
neighborhoods without watch programs.
Population / Sample:
The population for this proposal is 53 neighborhoods in Dallas, Texas that do not
have a neighborhood watch program in existence. There is a master list of these 53
neighborhoods allowing a probability sampling strategy to be utilized. Specifically, a simple
random sample of 20 neighborhoods from the master list of 53 neighborhoods will be used (the
neighborhood watch program will be randomly assigned to 10 neighborhoods; Thus, establishing
the experimental group. The remaining 10 neighborhoods will be the control group).
True-Classic Design (see Figure 1) will be used for this proposal. The neighborhood
watch program will be randomly assigned to ten neighborhoods from Dallas, Texas. The
remaining ten neighborhoods in the sample will not receive the independent variable (watch
program). The ten neighborhoods receiving neighborhood watch will comprise the experimental
group. The remaining ten neighborhoods without neighborhood watch will comprise the control
Neighborhood Watch Proposal 6
Figure 1: True Classic Experimental Design
Assignment of IV to 10 neighborhoods
Time 1 Time 2 Time 3
Before Period During Period After Period
Existing agency data and official statistics will be collected for this proposal. Police
reports from local police departments and published crime statistics for the designated areas will
be used to measure crime rates for the neighborhoods 6 months prior to the implementation of
the watch program as well as 6 months after the watch program has been implemented.
Police reports are valid, reliable written documents prepared by police officers after a
crime or accident has occurred. Police reports usually contain the name of the victim, witnesses
to the crime, the classification of the offense and other relevant information. Since police reports
are public documents in most areas, limitations may be placed on the kinds of information
released to the public. As long as the crime and date of the crime is listed on the report, it will be
useful for this study. Another issue that may arise with this type of data is it may not be released
Posttest on DV
# of burglaries
Pretest on DV
# of burglaries
Posttest on DV
# of burglaries
Intervention of IV
Pretest on DV
# of burglaries
Neighborhood Watch Proposal 7
if the crime involved a juvenile. An ethical issue with police reports has to do with the honesty of
the officer who files the report. Although there are huge consequences for falsifying police
reports, it still happens. Since most crimes are typically committed in secret, crime statistic
reports can be inaccurate. These reports only reflect crimes that have been reported, thus it is
almost impossible to get an accurate statistic when information is missing.
Neighborhood Watch Proposal 8
Campbell, M. (n.d.). Purpose of neighborhood watch. Retrieved on 3/15/2012 from eHow.com:
Holloway, K., Bennett, T., & Farrington, D. P. (2008). Crime prevention review no. 3: Does
neighborhood watch reduce crime? Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice Office
of Community Oriented Policing Services.
McCrystal, L. (2012, June 25). Neighborhood watch proposed. Retrieved on 4/16/2012 from
Concord Monitor: http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/337992/neighborhood-watch-
Uniform Services Bureau. (n.d.). Neighborhood crime watch. Retrieved on 3/15/2013 from St.
Petersburg Police Department: http://www.stpete.org/police/crime-prev/crime-watch.html
———. (n.d.). Neighborhood watch program. Retrieved on 4/16/2012 from Directory M
———- . (n.d.). Texas crime statistics and rates report (TX). Retrieved on 3/15/2012 from
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