How to start a community watch program

r.j. kushner
4 min readSep 26, 2023
A good pair of binocs separates the community watchman from the regular run-of-the-mill creep.

So, you want to start a community watch program, eh? Well, it’s about darn time. Do you have any idea of the consequences of a community that isn’t being watched? Of course you don’t. You’re too busy thinking about the perfect buffalo chicken recipe or whether you have anything you could bring on Antiques Roadshow someday.

The consequences of living without an official community watch program can lead to total chaos. People freak out when they find you peering in their windows in order to keep them safe. That is why you must organize them and let them know what is going on ahead of time so they don’t freak out and throw a lawn chair at you. Your neighbors are like sheep–before you can shear them, you need to explain it’s for the greater good (wool). Here’s how to start a community watch program.

1) Buy a giant pair of binoculars

A good pair of binocs separates the community watchman from the regular run-of-the-mill creep. I like the Newcon Optik Sentinel MLRF Thermal Binocular with Laser Rangefinder myself. These puppies will let you see some shit you’ll never forget. Be sure to wear them around your neck at all times–there is no “downtime” for the staid community watch leader.

2) Start to notice anything out of the ordinary

You’re going to want to hone your “weird stuff” radar. This means noticing unusual things in your community, like everyone gathering at town hall to “discuss the burglaries/window creeper.” Keep your distance from the unusual community behavior so that you can observe it objectively. A good tip is to press your forehead to the window when looking in so your breath doesn’t fog it up.

3) Have someone to call for backup

My next door neighbor Felton is the only person in my community I trust. We’ve barely said five words to each other but we share a bond because we both drive Toyotas. He never gave me his phone number but I found it online. From what I’ve observed, he likes nighttime ballet and skiing because he’s always leaving his house at night on his tippy toes with a ski mask on.

4) Prepare for some pushback

Starting a neighborhood watch program is bound to ruffle some feathers, and not just because the pigeons always put up a fight when you try to strap cameras on them. People naturally hate ceding control to a community watch leader, even if it’s for their own good. So, when you notice your neighbors have started gathering outside your apartment and demanding you come out so they can “have a word,” ignore them, especially if they are carrying a big net.

5) Don’t get in the big net

It doesn’t matter what kind of fun things your neighbors put in the middle of the big net — stickers, a hot slice of cherry pie with extra whipped cream, etc. — do not get in the big net. If you do, the net will close up and you’ll get trapped and they won’t even give you the cherry pie unless you threaten to piss and shit yourself a bunch.

6) Play it cool in the interrogation room

If these nudniks really had anything to pin on you, they’d have called the pigs. Tell Wan and Melinda to take a hike. And tell Martin that if he put this kind of effort into watering maybe his front lawn wouldn’t look like Dune. Don’t cry if Martin raises his voice at you.

7) Get Felton to vouch for you

When your neighbors start accusing you of burglarizing their ugly homes (even after all the work you’ve put in to protect them), ask Tobin, “Would you betray me with a kiss?” When Tobin refuses to kiss you, tell him to go get Felton, the only neighbor who doesn’t seem to be part of this witch hunt. Not only will Felton be sure to kiss you, but he will speak to your good character.

8) Act like you suspected Felton was the burglar all along

When they return from getting Felton and tell you they caught him burglarizing Ari’s home, don’t say, “OMGOSH!” or “How much of Ari’s smelly Adam Levine cologne was he able to get?” Instead, lean back in your chair and say something like, “I suspected you might find him there. Case closed!” If they say that this doesn’t absolve you and that you still have to quit peeking in windows, threaten to piss and shit yourself.



r.j. kushner

Dubbed by the New York Times as “all out of free articles this month.”