Is Dog Walker Watch Keeping an Eye on Your Neighborhood?

Morgan Sterling
by Morgan Sterling
It’s Neighborhood Watch 2.0: Dog Edition! See why more communities are signing up for Dog Walker Watch and how you can get involved.

Community watch signs in neighborhoods make us feel safe, and it’s always wonderful to know that a community is dedicated to keeping its members safe. No one knows this better than the National Association of Town Watch, a group dedicated to setting up neighborhood watch programs across the country.

Why Dog Walkers?

Who knows a community better than those who spend their days walking through its streets? Dog walkers are often outside on foot, which makes them amazing assets as the eyes and ears of the areas they live in. While on a walk, one might admire a neighbor’s new garden, or make small talk with members of their community. A walk is a great way to find out about the happenings in an area. To many, walking a dog is a daily occurrence that happens without much thought; however, Fido’s morning ritual could be the next big thing is neighborhood safety.

Walks take place at all hours of the day, meaning there is continuous visibility for smaller areas that may not be protected by security cameras or regular patrols. These residential areas are where a lot of break ins occur that could go unnoticed. Though sometimes dog owners are can be distracted by phones and music, with proper awareness training and a keen eye, they can become a new frontier of community protection.

Dog Walker Watch Goals

The National Association of Town Watch has created the Dog Walker Watch program to teach dog walkers how to be community observers and how to report any suspicious behaviour or activity to local law enforcement. This includes looking out for open doors, fences, or suspicious vehicles that are not typical for the area. Dog walkers are perfect for this task as small differences, like an open window, are hard to spot for someone who is new to the area.

Police also want to make community members more comfortable talking about neighborhood occurrences to make the reporting process easy and friendly. The training is conducted by members of law enforcement themselves in order to be effective while encouraging a relationship between the community and their law professionals. The sessions are usually an hour long, and provide useful safety to training to those involved.

This initiative was set up for people who love their communities and want to protect them by keeping residents feel safe. It’s a wonderful feeling to give back, and who doesn’t love contributing to a secure and happy environment for their friends and loved ones? With 75 million dog walkers in the U.S., there is huge potential for the program to spread across the country and create safer spaces for all citizens. About 1,000 communities from all over the country have signed up already, make yours the next!

How to Sign your Community Up for the Program

Let your local police department know about the program and contact NATW about providing training discs.

Register yourself as a member of The National Association of Town Watch and to find out about setting up Dog Walker Watch training in your community!

Morgan Sterling
Morgan Sterling

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