Arlington residents keep eye on neighborhood while walking dogs

Volunteers in nearly every neighborhood in Arlington have been providing extra eyes and ears for their communities all while taking their dog on a walk.

Arlington police started the program in 2016 and they said it’s become very popular -- especially to those who make walking the dog a part of their daily routine.

Judy and Jude Plauche are dog walkers and community watchers.

"It keeps your mind open and you are well aware of like if cars are parked outside or not,” Jude said.

The Plauche’s, along with little Spartacus, are part of a blossoming community watch program in Arlington called Dog Walkers Watch.

"Sometimes when we're walking will notice that there are people driving by slowly and they seem to be looking into people's houses to see if they're leaving their garage door open or their car unlocked,” Judy said.

Arlington police said the 100-plus citizen volunteers in the program are already walking the streets anyway and now they can be the quiet, unassuming eyes and ears of the community.

"It's all about security, we just want to make our neighborhood more secure,” Judy said.

The walkers are on the lookout for anything or anyone suspicious. If they see something they report it to police or the homeowner if necessary.

"We'll go ahead and knock on the door and let them know that that's happening,” Judy said.

Volunteers register with the department and go through some extra training on basic community policing. But they are instructed not to engage with any potential criminal and instead call 9-1-1 if they see something serious. The walkers also undergo background checks.

Arlington has four upcoming classes, one each month through July for anyone interested in volunteering.