MODESTO -- Walking your dog is just part of a daily routine for most pet owners but some in a Modesto neighborhood have added an extra responsibility to that routine.
Trina Zarzana takes her pup on patrol for her neighborhood watch group.
“I like to know what’s going on in the neighborhood,” she said.
Now, Modesto police want to combine dog walking with neighborhood watch groups -- to help fight crime as part of their Dog Walker Watch program.
“People who walk their dogs are out all hours of the day. They're out in the morning, in the afternoon, at nighttime and they're walking in areas where not everybody is,” said Jennifer Slocum.
Modesto Community Resource Officer, Jennifer Slocum, says people out walking dogs are more likely to see crime happening.
“They live in their neighborhood and they know what's normal. We don't. So, if they can call and let us know what's going on and call if they see any suspicious people then that's just going to help us potentially stop a crime,” Slocum explained.
Officer Slocum and members of the Crime Prevention Unit met with pet owners at the Modesto dog park and educated them on how they can effectively observe and report criminal activity they see on their daily walks.
“They should just be on the lookout for stuff that they don't usually see when they're out walking their dogs, any suspicious people,” Slocum said. “Maybe looking at cars or houses, suspicious vehicles that are parked there with people just hanging out.”
Police say, with training, dog walkers can become the extra eyes and ears for law enforcement; which can potentially help make their neighborhoods safer.
“I'll be more alert and I’ll know what to look for and know what to do,” Zarzana said.
They're really just helping us, help the community by calling in and letting us know what's going on,” Slocum said.
Dog Walker Watch is part of National Night Out which encourages neighbors to get to know each other and the police that serve their community.
Modesto police's National Night Out will be Tuesday August 6th.
More information can be found here: https://natw.org/dog-walker-watch/.