More Eyes to Watch Out for Crime

<p>New Citizen Patrol for Kittitas County</p>

New Citizen Patrol for Kittitas County

There will be more eyes on the lookout for crime in Kittitas county, as
volunteers will help police officers who can't be everywhere at once.
    These three Kittitas county residents have always been fascinated with police work.
"It's always been an area of interest, crime prevention," says Crystal Kossow.
"It's something that I just felt that I wanted to do to help make things a little bit better," says Ken Titus.
"I thought this was a good way to serve the community," says Bob Allen.
    And now they'll get a chance to make a difference, as part of a volunteer citizen patrol for the sheriff's office.
    They'll be an extra set of eyes to watch out for crime in any part of the county.
"We might be able to see something that we can pass on to the deputies that will help them apprehend somebody," says Allen.
Tight county budgets, crime waves, and a large patrol area make it hard for deputies to catch everything.
"Preventing crimes, working with volunteers, such as us, and just trying to fill in a lot of the gaps," says Kossow.
"They need some help, and it's up to the community too to help," says Titus.
    The sheriff's office is partnering with the Retired Senior Volunteer program, and will use grant money to pay for the citizen patrol.
"Just a presence out there that won't cost the county a lot of money, and help out the deputies hopefully," says Allen.
    The volunteers just finished a week of intensive training in Yakima.
    Today they learned how to recognize investment fraud, and prevent senior citizens from becoming victimized.
"I feel like I'd be able to steer them in the right direction, possibly get more information," says Titus.
    The trio has their own patrol car, a refurbished Crown Victoria they say will be a big part in driving crime out of Kittitas county.
"We can be watching for and be visible to help deter the bad guys," says Kossow.
    The citizen patrol started with three volunteers, and they hope to expand the program.
    The patrol will be on duty a few days a month, or as needed.