Matt Peskin remembers the good old days when neighbors knew neighbors, routinely looked out for one another, and everyone knew the cop on the beat. As the founder of the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), he has spent his entire career encouraging communities nationwide to return to a lifestyle that builds vibrant, stronger, safer, more caring communities. He has been lauded by the White House, Congress, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies nationwide.
In 1981, Peskin founded NATW, a nonprofit, umbrella group of citizen crime watch groups and police departments across the USA.
In 1984, he created “National Night Out,” a unique event which has rapidly grown into the nation’s largest annual crime prevention event with millions of participants from thousands of communities across the United States.
What started as a simple request for neighbors to turn on their porch light and take a seat outside on the front porch, has grown into a national night of block parties, cookouts, parades, neighborhood walks, festivals and police visits, all with the focus on neighborhood unity and crime prevention. Police and local officials come together on the first Tuesday each August to promote neighborhood safety, camaraderie and police-community partnerships. He calls it ‘a party with a purpose’.
In 2014, Peskin also created the “Dog Walker Watch” program. There are 75 million dog walkers in the United States. Most are on their phone while they are walking. This initiative trains dog walkers how to become more aware and alert while walking. In a cooperative effort with local law enforcement, Dog Walker Watch teaches walkers how to effectively call 911 if they see something suspicious. Dog Walker Watch is now operating in over 3,000 communities across the USA.
Peskin lives in Wynnewood, PA, just outside of Philadelphia.