CRESTVIEW — What has six legs, four eyes and helps keep Crestview neighborhoods safer? A dog walker and his or her pooch.
The Crestview Police Department introduces Dog Walker Watch, a National Association of Town Watch awareness program. The watch also originated the National Night Out Against Crime.
A free 6-8 p.m. July 20 organizational and training meeting at Warriors Hall will kick off the program, during which participants will learn how to put their routine dog walking time to use by observing any suspicious activity in their neighborhood.
"It really makes sense," CPD Community Services Officer Wanda Hulion said. "At almost any given time, somebody's walking their dog in the city."
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of dog walkers throughout the community at all times of the day, all days of the week, in all weather conditions, according to an NATW media release. "Dog Walker Watch trains these individuals how to effectively observe and report suspicious activity," the release states.
"Dog walkers are people who probably know their neighborhoods best," CPD Community Services Officer Sam Kimmons said. "They'd notice if something's not right."
There's no cost to join the program, and no obligation apart from reporting unusual activity.
And participants don't even need to own a dog. Walkers and joggers can also join the program, the officers said.