Summer has finally arrived. It’s time to grab the leashes and get our fur babies out walking!
I partner with a local Police Department and teach a program called Dog Walker Watch. The idea is simple, we teach you and Fido what you can do to keep your neighborhood safe and maybe even help the local Police fight crime!
Of course we all know the basics of being a good neighbor like keeping our dogs on leashes and picking up after them. However, this concept focuses on watching your neighborhood and paying attention to indicators of crime.
You know your neighborhood, especially if you are your fur companion walk on a regular basis. You know if there is a car parked somewhere where it normally isn’t, if a vehicle hasn’t moved in a few days or there are people in the neighborhood that don’t belong.
Dog Walker Watch focuses on watching for the little things, are there are group of mail boxes opened? That could be an indication of stolen mail. Is there a car door open with no one around? That could be a sign the car was broken in to. Are there backpacks or personal property laying in random places? That could be stolen property that was gone through and left behind. Is there a car that drives around noticeably slow? That could be someone watching the neighborhood.
Now, I do not want to scare you and make you suspicious of every new person in your neighborhood, but as I mentioned earlier, you know what’s normal in your neighborhood. If you feel something does not seem right, I encourage you to consider reporting it to your local Police as suspicious activity. Perhaps it will be nothing, but maybe it will be the piece of information that will help solve a crime or helps someone get their stolen property back.
Somethings you may not know, every County has a non-emergency number for you to call. This means you can pass information along to the Police, without calling 911. Also, when calling the Police to report suspicious activity, you do not have to have an Officer respond to your house. Instead you can request an Officer to call you and provide the information over the phone.
Next time you are walking, test yourself. After you pass a person, think about how you would describe them to the Police. What were they wearing; did they have a distinct shirt or pair of pants on? Were they wearing glasses or a hat? Did they have any scars, marks or tattoos that you noticed? What direction were they going? These are all things that are very important to the Police and can help them locate the person quicker. Next time, do the same for vehicles!
Technology has become part of our everyday life, but I encourage you to take your eyes off your phone and notice the things happening in your neighborhood. Most days your walk will be uneventful but you never know when you could be witnessing a crime.
The most important lesson in Dog Walker Watch is safety first. Do not approach a suspicious person or situation. In order to be a good neighbor; you have to keep you, your family and your fur babies safe! Always call 911 in the event of an emergency.
Wishing you and doggies safe and happy walking this summer!