Chandler dog owners encouraged to join neighborhood watch program

CHANDLER, AZ -

A new take on neighborhood watch involves your pets as Chandler police are encouraging dog owners to take part in their own safety with the Dog Walker Watch Program.

A walk through the neighborhood with Lucy the Schnauzer is a regular activity for Paul Petroff, like it is for other dog owners.

He knows his neighborhood well. So when he's out, he knows what to look out for.

"You see an odd car parked for a long time or somebody casing the neighborhood," Petroff said.

It's the type of awareness Chandler police are encouraging--not only keeping an eye out on the streets, but keeping neighbors in the loop if something seems suspicious.

"We talk to each other now and then. If we see something weird, we mention it," Petroff said.

The Dog Walker Watch is a nationwide program, and Chandler police are getting on board.

The concept is simple: getting dog walkers to take action--if you see something, say something.

"For instance, somebody walking down the street that's pulling on door handles of cars--that's suspicious," said Det. Seth Tyler with the Chandler Police Department. "That's something that we need to know about for people to call in."

He said when neighbors report activity, even if it's anonymously, it makes a difference.

"A very high percentage of calls that are reported to us by citizens actually lead to arrests. They're actual crimes," Tyler said.

It's about getting neighbors involved in their own safety and putting those who want to commit crimes on notice that people are watching. 

"It's a quiet neighborhood, so I'd like to remain it that way," Petroff said.

Chandler police are organizing a training session likely at the end of the month to educate neighbors on how to identify and report suspicious persons, vehicles and activity. 

To get involved, email Robin.Atwood@chandleraz.gov or call (480) 782-4962.

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