Yakima County Block Watch Program Triples in Size - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima County Block Watch Program Triples in Size

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It's a beautiful partnership between law enforcement and community members, and it's putting a dent in crime rates. It's a beautiful partnership between law enforcement and community members, and it's putting a dent in crime rates.

YAKIMA, WA - It's a beautiful partnership between law enforcement and community members, and it's putting a dent in crime rates.

Criminals beware. There are more people watching you than ever before.

"Lots of areas where they've had challenges before, it has decreased the amount and the neatest thing is that the eyes and ears out there, really making a difference," said Ric Cole, a Block Watch Coordinator for the West Valley area.

Yakima County's Block Watch is a partnership between the sheriff's office and community members like you. Neighbors watch out for each other, recognize what crimes are the most prevalent in their neighborhoods and then report to the sheriff's office.

"When they see something that doesn't look right, the majority of the time it isn't," said Cole.

"They feel safer because they know there's other people that they trust that are watching out for their residence when they're gone, and then they help their neighbors when their neighbors are gone as well," said Lt. Brian Winter, with the Yakima County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff said Block Watch is a program he's proud of, and it's a rapidly growing one at that. In 2001, 50 neighborhoods had Block Watch. In the past ten years that number has shot up to 150 neighborhoods.

Sheriff's deputies said it's always better to have more than one pair of eyes watching out for your property. But there are plenty of things homeowners can do on their own, like installing extra lighting and cutting shrubs back from windows.

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