Hermiston Police Gets National Award - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hermiston Police Gets National Award

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HERMISTON, Ore.-- Several homes in Hermiston have signs warning criminals to stay away from private property.

Hermiston police officers have given out these signs in some neighborhoods to help improve safety. They got an award for their efforts from the National Sheriff's Association.

But many people have also taken the initiative to start Neighborhood Watch Groups on their own. Hermiston police say it all comes down to neighbors staying alert.

"There's approximately 30 officers in our agency, would you rather have sixty sets of eyes or the 16,000 citizens that make up the city of Hermiston?," said Officer Erica Sandoval, with the Hermiston Police Department.

"We're concerned about situations happening, so we would get together and talk about things that we needed to do to be proactive, and it's working everything that we're doing is working," said Denise Slocum, Captain of Neighborhood Watch Group.

According to neighbors some of the most common problems are with graffiti. Police say by now nearly 50% of neighborhoods in Hermiston have an active watch group.