Crime Prevention

The Annandale Police Department participates in a number of Crime Prevention Programs including Operation Identification, Drug Education, Driver Education, Neighborhood Watch, National Night Out, and many more.

We also participate in assisting homeowners and businesses in evaluating their residential or business security and their potential exposure to crime. If you are interested in having an officer conduct a security audit at your home or place of business, contact our office to set up an appointment at (320)-274-3278.

Alcohol Compliance

As public concern about drinking & driving and underage consumption of alcohol has increased over the years, so has the focus on how to combat this issue. More emphasis has been, and is being, placed on ensuring that those individuals who are purchasing alcohol are of legal drinking age. 

As a result, Cities across the State of Minnesota are conducting random checks in bars and liquor stores to make sure that clerks are asking for identification when it is appropriate to do so. In fact, this issue has become so important, many feel that the legislature will soon require that these random checks be done on an annual basis. 

To ensure that we are doing our part at the Annandale Police Department conduct alcohol compliance checks at our local establishments. We are hopeful that these checks will lead to a reduction in underage consumption of alcohol and of underage drinking & driving.

National Night Out

National Night Out was designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, to generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs, to strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and to send a message to criminals to let them know that neighborhoods are organized and they are fighting back. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of National Night Out, Police and community partnerships. 

In 2008 an estimated 35 million people across the country celebrated National Night Out. The Annandale Police Department and the residents of Annandale participated in the National Night Out campaign along with over 10,000 other communities.

National Night Out 2008 was a huge success! National Night Out is a great opportunity to meet neighbors and share experiences; get information ate area and the City of Annandale, and meet city staff and elected officials. Many neighborhoods plan social events to encourage neighbors to come out and get to know one another. 

We encourage you to not just make National Night Out the only time you get out and mingle with your neighbors. Take time to say "hello" and visit with people around you, this helps each resident feel comfortable reporting things that may have a negative impact on the neighborhood. 

Contact Tara Smith, 320-274-3278 or by email at if you would like an officer to attend neighborhood meetings.

Tobacco Compliance

As public concern about teenage use of tobacco has increased over the years, so has the focus on how to combat this issue. More emphasis has been, and is being placed on ensuring that those individuals who are purchasing and consuming tobacco are of legal age.

As a result, the State of Minnesota passed legislation requiring tobacco compliance checks at each point of sale location within each community. It is the responsibility of each individual community or appropriate Sheriff?s Department to conduct these checks.

The Annandale Police Department has been conducting these compliance checks at our local establishments for several years. While there have been some instances where violations have occurred, the number of violations has been decreasing and understanding of the problem has increased.

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch is a community-based program that has been proven to reduce crime. Residents participating in Neighborhood Watch are given information on crime prevention and ways to improve their home and personal security. They watch for and report suspicious or unusual activity they see occurring in their neighborhood. This enables law enforcement to be much more effective in working with citizens to reduce crime and resolve neighborhood problems.

If you are interested in starting a neighborhood watch group where you live, contact our office at (320)274-3278. An officer will be happy to discuss how you get started, and the requirements for continued police department participation.

Police Departments across the country are learning that community participation in anti-crime programs is essential. One of the most effective ways to promote citizen interaction with police is the sharing of information. Citizen groups determine specific needs or problems and then share this information with local police. The police then act on this information and report back to the group on their progress. This program also works when the police go to public groups and organizations and make them aware of specific criminal activities or the needs of the police department. The Neighborhood Watch concept is designed to target specific geographical areas and to assist citizens in these areas to:

Establish an organizational structure and create an information sharing network.

Help to introduce neighbors and create social ties that will help them work together.

Allow police to train citizens on how to be proactive by preventing crime and recognizing and reporting criminal activities.

Access information and assistance from police and other Government agencies that can help to improve living conditions.

Provide the community with a strong unified voice to inform community leaders on programs and actions that the "people" support.

Neighborhood watch cannot only be utilized as a strong tool to fight crime, it is also a strong social organization. It can also be utilized to enact other projects such as Community Clean Up, Bus Stop Safety Watch for children and locating and assisting citizens with special needs. Neighborhood Watch is not a vigilante organization! It promotes awareness techniques and reporting crimes not physical confrontation with criminals.

So, how do I start?

The first step is to discuss interest in organizing with neighbors in your area. You should obtain a map and clearly define the boundaries for your watch area. (Start small, less than 20 residences, you can expand as you become more organized.) Distribute a flyer or go door to door and let the people in your area have input on this project.

Step two is to begin planning your first neighborhood meeting. Call the Annandale Police Department and schedule a date when a officer can come to speak to your group about the Neighborhood Watch concept (320-274-3278). After setting the date, select and secure a location, close to your area, to hold the meeting. The officer may facilitate a meeting room at the city hall if need be. Advertising the meeting is very important! Be creative with handouts and personal or phone contacts. Let everyone know when and where the meeting will be held.

The first meeting is basically a social event and an information sharing time. The police officer, who will be speaking to your group, will tell you about Annandale, your police department and how Neighborhood Watch can help your community. The primary goal of the first meeting is to gauge the expected participation in the project and to create an understanding for the need for Neighborhood Watch.

After the first meeting you will need to begin by selecting the Block Captain.

The Block Captain

The Block Captain is the primary link in the NHW chain of command. The duties include a wide range of tasks:

Primary Contact with the Police Department. The Block Captain passes non-emergency information from the NHW Directly to the Crime Prevention Officer. The Block Captain also receives information from the Crime Prevention Officer and passes it to the NHW Members.

Organizes date, time, and location for NHW meetings.

Meets with each resident in your assigned area and offer to register them in the NHW. Loans the new member an engraving tool for Operation Identification. (Police provide engraving tools and stickers for members to mark valuables with an assigned number for burglary prevention.

Maintain an emergency phone list of all your assigned residents.

Be available to pass on information about criminal activities in your area. Activate the phone tree if you receive information from the Crime Prevention Officer of a concern in your area. (The "phone tree" involves calling NHW members and informing them if there is an active incident going on in the area.)

Coordinates assistance programs if there are any special needs in their area and may set up social events for their members to become involved in.

The Neighborhood Watch Members

The most important part of a NHW are the members. Being a NHW member is not a hard or time consuming job. It mostly involves becoming aware of activities in your area and taking time to report them.

Observe and report any suspicious activities. Report the non-emergency activities to your Block Captain by phone or on a 3x5 card. Emergencies or a crime in progress should be reported to the police (911) and then to the Block Captain.

Be willing to serve as an acting Block Captain in the absence of your area Block Captain or to assist the Block Captain with projects in your block.

Attend monthly or quarterly meetings of the NHW group.

The Kick Off Day

After the first meeting and when your group has finished the initial organizing, you need to have a day to officially start the NHW. This will be the Kick Off Day. We recommend that you pick a weekend or evening when everyone in the NHW will be invited to a special event such as a block party or a community rally. It never hurts to have food and special events planned. Try to have the meeting outside in or near your NHW area. This will draw attention to your group and will encourage others in the area to want to become a part of your program. You may also wish to invite the media to cover your events. This is a good way to tell the community about your program and how your neighborhood is fighting back against Crime. At the Kick Off event you may want to unveil your NHW street signs. We provide 2 NHW signs and posts (installed by city crews) to active NHW programs. These signs should be placed on private property near the beginning and end of your watch area.

Lets Review...

  • Neighborhood Watch organizational schedule.
  • Discuss the need for NHW in your area with your neighbors.
  • Map out the area for your NHW.
  • Contact the Annandale Police Department to schedule a speaker.
  • Secure a place and time for the first meeting.
  • Advertise the meeting to your NHW area.
  • Have the first meeting.
  • After the meeting select the Block Captain.
  • The Block Captain will decide which form to use to register the members and to select a target date for the Kick Off.
  • Block Captains should make contact and attempt to register every home in your assigned block.
  • Compile a master list of all members.
  • Plan the Kick Off meeting and invite the members and guests.
  • Advertise the Kick Off day.
  • Have the Big Kick off
  • Work with the police to reduce crime