Pasco sees new interest in block watch program

PASCO, Wash. -- The KEPR Crime Tracker told you about half-a-dozen burglaries in Pasco over the weekend.

A couple of arrests were made thanks to the keen eye of a neighbor.

Police say community block watch programs are on the rise, following crime trends.

Jim Noyce has lived in Pasco's Mediterranean Villas development for almost six years.

The community has been a long-time participant in Pasco's neighborhood watch program.

Jim does his part to report suspicious activity when he sees it.

"Not only do a lot of us have stickers in our windows, but there are street signs. And people are more observant to what goes on around," Jim says.

And it's paid off.

Pasco Police say they haven't responded to serious crime in Jim's development for several years.

"I would call police if I saw something suspicious," he added.

It's the kind of community vigilance Pasco PD would like to see across the board.

Officer Jonathan Davis says just bringing a healthy block watch program into a neighborhood can cut crime by more than half, in just the first two years.

"The only way it works is the community getting to know each other," Officer Davis says.

Participation in community watch programs began dropping sharply two years ago.

Police are encouraged that in recent months, more than a dozen neighborhoods in Pasco alone have asked about starting a program up.

It's that hands-on approach that police say can help stop burglaries like the six that happened over the weekend.

"What we need is the community to be out there looking out for each other. Looking for things that are suspicious and then contacting the police," Officer Davis added.

He says they plan on starting as many as ten programs by the beginning of next month.

Jim thinks other neighborhoods should follow suit.

"Where I live is as safe as anywhere in the Tri-Cities," Jim says.

If you live in Pasco or Richland and are interested in starting a community watch program in your neighborhood, contact your local Police department.

Kennewick does not offer a community watch program, but still relies on community members reporting crime