Merchant Watch Overview

Merchant Watch is a community service offered by the Rahway Police Department to the merchants that is similar in concept to the Neighborhood Watch Program. The Rahway Police Department will work with the business community to reduce crime and the fear of crime by developing an environment where crime cannot flourish. Businesses are encouraged to join and participate with the police to reduce crime and make the business community safer.

Purpose of Merchant Watch:

  • To help establish a sense of community awareness among business proprietors in an effort to prevent crimes against businesses and enhance the sense of safety and security.

Goals of Merchant Watch:

  • To improve communications between business proprietors and the police.
  • To provide education and information to business proprietors to help reduce crime in targeted areas.
  • To preserve and reclaim our business district and to eliminate conditions that give rise to crime.
  • To encourage business owners to utilize security measures to the fullest extent in order to deter crime.
  • To solicit information and ideas from the public, which would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Merchant Watch Program.

The Principals of Crime Prevention:

  • Crime Prevention is everybody’s business.
  • Crime Prevention is more than security.
  • Crime Prevention is linked with solving social problems.
  • Crime Prevention is cost effective.
  • Crime Prevention requires cooperation from all elements of the community.
  • Crime Prevention requires education.
  • Crime Prevention requires testing and improving.
  • Crime Prevention improves the quality of life for the community, businesses, and residents.
  • Crime Prevention means working in partnership, not isolation.

Merchant Watch Program Involves:

  • Business people getting to know each other and working together in a mutual assistance program.
  • Employees being trained to recognize and report suspicious activities and people to the police department.
  • Employees being trained to handle emergencies, be a good witness, and in crime prevention techniques.
  • Implementation of crime prevention techniques such as better building security, fraud and shoplifting prevention, and other measures.

Merchant Watch Requirements:

  • Program Coordinator who will serve as a liaison with the police.
  • Registering the business as a Merchant Watch Member with the Rahway Center Partnership.
  • Merchants will have at least one employee attend a basic Business Watch training session. This employee will then train the other employees.
  • Display Merchant Watch sign prominently in the window of your business.
  • Reporting all suspicious activities and people to the Rahway Police Department in a timely manner.
  • Attend periodic Merchant Watch meetings.

Participating Merchants are also encouraged to:

  • Develop emergency procedures in the event of a robbery, sudden illness, natural disaster, etc.
  • Develop and train employees in recommended opening and closing procedures, in handling money drops and bank deposits.
  • Conduct periodic self-security surveys to better secure the building against burglary, robbery, and shoplifting.

Benefits of Participation:

  • Creates an effective crime-fighting team.
  • Merchants become educated in recognizing and reporting suspicious activities.
  • Fosters a spirit of cooperation that helps decrease crime.
  • Increases quality of life that may attract more customers. If the public believes the merchants actively try to provide a safer shopping environment, they will feel more comfortable patronizing your business!!!

Everyone benefits when we work together!

How to Report a Crime / Incident
Merchant Check List


In an emergency always dial 911

Non-Emergencies call 732-827-2200

Crimes In Progress – (CALL 9-1-1)

Description of actors

  • Height, weight, race, gender, approximate age
  • Hair color, facial hair
  • Glasses, hats, description of clothing
  • Number of people involved
  • Any other distinguishing characteristics (such as noticeable tattoos)


  • Which way did they go?
  • Did they leave in a vehicle?
  • License plate number
  • Make
  • Model
  • Color

Reporting Crime Prevents Crime!

  • It heads off incidents before they can take place.
  • It helps to identify problems causing crime.
  • It makes it easier to find criminals and prevent them from offending again.
  • It creates a climate that does not tolerate crime!