As the weather clears and more residents take to the streets to walk their pets, they also have the chance to register to partner with Puyallup police to watch for suspicious activity as part of the department’s Paws on Patrol program.
The program, which officially kicks off next month, asks members of the community — and their furry friends — to be aware of their surroundings.
“Walkers in general are out all day and night,” said Lisa Isaacs, crime prevention coordinator for the Puyallup Police Department. “We want them to watch who and what is around them.”
Walkers in general are out all day and night. We want them to watch out for who and what is around them.
Lisa Isaacs, crime prevention coordinator for the Puyallup Police Department
It’s common to see many dog walkers on their phones or listening to music when they’re out and about, said Isaacs, and that is an opportunity for them to be “extra eyes and ears” for local law enforcement.
While there are always police on patrol, it’s residents who know their own neighborhoods the best, Isaacs said.
“They know what’s normal and what’s not,” she said.
Suspicious activity can include cars driving with headlights turned off, people sitting in parked cars watching neighborhood activity, cars following delivery vans, cars parked in unusual places, unauthorized people entering backyards and private property and people looking into cars on the street.
In these cases, police advise calling 911 in a prompt and timely manner.
Citizens can register for Paws on Patrol at the Puyallup Police Department at 311 W Pioneer in downtown Puyallup. Opportunities to register online will be available in the near future. Those who register receive a blue Paws on Patrol scarf for their pet sponsored by South Hill Veterinary Hospital and treats supplied by MudBay in Puyallup.
Participants don’t have to be dog walkers. Terry Lee, a member of the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) with the Puyallup Police Department, walks his cat as part of the effort.
Don’t have a pet? That’s okay, too. Police still encourage citizens to sign up.
After registration, walkers can take a one-hour class provided by the department to learn how to safely report their findings.
We want to give them some tips on how to report. We want them to be safely observant.
“We want to give them some tips on how to report,” Isaacs said. “We want them to be safely observant.”
Classes will be held periodically, with evenings and Saturday night classes available for those who cannot make it during the day.
“There will be different opportunities to get together,” added Isaacs, like gathering at local dog parks with participants. “The goal is to educate the public.”
For more information, contact Isaacs at the Puyallup Police Department at 253-841-5531 or LIsaacs@ci.puyallup.wa.us.