Police Clarify Neighborhood Watch Duties - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Police Clarify Neighborhood Watch Duties

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Police want people to know that while Washington is a stand your ground state, a neighborhood watch group is something entirely different.

The George Zimmerman case has raised a lot of questions about what id expected from a neighborhood watch. Kennewick police say neighborhood watch participants should keep an eye on their local streets, but leave the active police work up to officers.

Police encourage neighbors to have a neighborhood watch group and even provide informational sessions to people about how to participate. But they want people to call them to handle any situations that require contacting a suspicious person.

"Your role in a neighborhood watch is to be a witness. To be vigilant, to watch, to report when you see something suspicious or out of the ordinary,"said Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police Department.

Lattin says it is important for people to know their neighbors and communicate regularly about activity they see. This can prevent a crime and get police to the scene to stop illegal or harmful activity.

Neighbors can contact their local police about resources available to learn neighborhood watch tips.