Farmington Hills begins Paw Watch

June 12, 2017 by  

On the theory that people who live in a neighborhood know it best, Farmington Hills has started a Paw Watch program. Dog owners agree to report anything unusual or suspicious they see when they’re out walking their pets.

The Farmington Hills Police Department oversees the program. Volunteers (and their dogs) agree to act as extra sets of eyes and ears on the street by simply doing what they do—taking a walk. There are now more than 80 people in the program.

Monica Kollar, a Crime Prevention Technician with the Farmington Hills police, said residents of a given area will quickly spot it when something’s wrong—for instance, they might see a U-Haul in the driveway of a friend they know to be on vacation.

The volunteers are urged to avoid using stereotypes of any kind in their efforts, but instead, to look at someone’s actions. If they see anything suspicious, they are to call the police, which is their primary mission—to alert authorities to questionable situations, not to get personally involved.

The idea for Paw Watch came from several police departments in Minnesota where the program is already in effect. Farmington Hills held its first class in April, 2017, and volunteers are now on the streets.

Programs like this can benefit if organizing agencies work with a flyer printing company to create a mailer about the effort for a targeted mailing to residents.