Local group aims to reduce crime - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local group aims to reduce crime

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PASCO, WA - As temperatures increase, unfortunately so does crime...like break-ins and thefts. Reporter Mackenzie Allen spoke with one local group doing its part to reduce crime.

Pasco isn't just where many of us live; it's also the name of a community watch group: The Pasco Area Safe Community Organization. So what is PASCO, and how are they keeping us safe?

"We're not police officers," says David Dillsworth, PASCO President. "We're here to assist the police officers and be aware of what we as citizens can do to make sure we can be observant." 

Essentially, PASCO operates as a go-between for the police and neighborhood watch groups.

"Last year we had one of our neighborhood watch captains observe someone in the neighborhood who was unusual doing something unusual, and it led to a big arrest," Dillsworth said.

But unlike many neighborhood watch groups, all members of PASCO must be trained by the police department. In fact, Dillsworth has been to three Pasco Citizen's Academies. 

"They go through the training the police officers receive," said Dillsworth. "How they are trained to respond to situations, so we have a better understanding of situations we might be in as well."

While members of PASCO try to use their training to reduce crime, just like the police, they can't be everywhere. So what can you do?

Dillsworth's first suggestion might seem obvious, but he says too often people just aren't remembering to lock their doors.

"One of the tips I've received is to have locks that automatically lock themselves, so you're locked in while you're there as well as while you're away." 

Dillsworth also recommends people keep their backyards well-lit, and if you're going to be away for several days, do your best to make it seem like someone is home.

And if you can, he suggests signing up for a police academy, whatever city you live in. 

Anyone interested in joining PASCO can contact them directly. All of their information is available on their Facebook page.