Paws on Patrol: Mercer Island police try new tactic to reduce crime

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. -- Mercer Island police are now asking dog owners to be the "extra eyes and ears" in the community. Officers are recruiting dog lovers to join a neighborhood watch group called “Paws on Patrol.”

“Dog walkers are ideal because A) there's a lot of them B) they are out all hours of the day," said police Cmdr. Leslie Burns.

The dog owners will be asked to look out for and report property crimes and other suspicious activity while out on their walks.

Burns said Mukilteo and Des Moines police have similar crime-prevention programs.

The National Association of Town Watch developed the original program called “Dog Walker Watch.”

Volunteers will go through a training program with Mercer Island police.

The watch group is expected to launch in the next couple of weeks. Dog owners will be able to sign up online or at the Mercer Island Police Department.