YAKIMA, Wash.--Record and report. That's what members of Yakima County Block Watch want you to do.
"People in the community are patrolling anytime they're out in their cars, they're just eyes and ears," said Mark McAllister. "I call it rubbernecking. If I see a person that I know drive by my driveway, and I don't see them looking I'll say hey, why aren't you rubbernecking. I want you to check my property."
McAllister has been part of the Block Watch program in the Lower Valley since its inception. Now he's one of the volunteers driving the citizens patrol car.
"I want to protect my family, and I don't want to do it through weapons," said McAllister.
Volunteers for the Yakima County Sheriff's Office drive the citizens patrol car at all hours of the day, looking for any suspicious activity. Members said by keeping out a watchful eye they can help keep crime down.
"We community citizens we'll be waving bye bye to somebody in the back of a patrol car when we're thinking wow I didn't know he had warrants or whatever," said McAllister. "So it gives law enforcement an excuse to check people out sometimes when they're loitering around and up to maybe no good."
McAllister said citizens patrol is very important, especially in areas with a lot of farmland and houses lie few and far between. He said burglars will target valuable property items.
Members said by looking out for one another they can make the community feel safer.
"They know that their neighbors are watching out for them, and by golly they better be watching out for their neighbors too," said McAllister.
If you want to be a part of the citizens patrol you must be at least 18-years-old, pass a criminal background check and have a current Washington State drivers license. You can pick up an application at the Yakima County Sheriff's Office.