How dog walkers are keeping metro Detroit community safe

New crime prevention classes open to public
Posted at 6:26 AM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-22 17:58:53-04

Police in Farmington Hills are training their residents to be the eyes and ears that keep their communities safe.

A program called “Paw Watch” was launched earlier this year. The idea is pretty simple. People who walk their pets are already making their way around Farmington Hills. If they’re willing, police offer free training to observe and report suspicious activity. It’s similar to a community watch program, but with mobile participants.

“It’s a great program, everyone loves the idea of getting their pets involved,” said Monica Kollar, a crime prevention technician with the department. “Getting the residents involved has been very positive.”

According to Kollar, the department has already received calls about suspicious solicitors.

The idea isn’t that crime is up, but rather that the department can keep the community safe by being proactive.

“We need residents that are looking out for one another to look out for suspicious activity,” said Kollar.

A handful of residents have already returned for a second class to ensure they’ve brushed up on their observation skills. Kollar explained that the free training prepares attendees to observe safely, but also what information is most valuable to police.

While the program is aimed at people with pets, you don’t need your four-legged friends at the training.

“Leave the pet at home!” said Kollar with a laugh. “But please, come yourself.”

The next program is scheduled for Thursday, August 24 at 6 p.m. at the Farmington Hills Police Department — that’s located at 31655 Eleven Mile Road just west of city hall.

Roughly 100 people have enrolled to take the course since April, 2017.

Those interested in attending the program our allowed to show up, but are encouraged to call ahead. Every pet who joins the program will receive a Paw Watch bandana. Light refreshments will be served and a special safety prize will be awarded in a raffle held at the end of the meeting.

To register or for further information about this new police-community partnership, contact the Crime Prevention Section at 248-871-2750 or email