Walking your dog can help deputies take a bite out of crime.
That’s the message behind the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s newest safety campaign called Paws on Patrol.
The campaign enlists dog owners who are out on the streets anyway to serve as extra eyes and
ears, reporting any suspicious activity or unusual behavior to law enforcement.
In Collier County, more than 80 percent of car burglaries are to unlocked vehicles; and most occur in the overnight hours. This is just one example of how Paws on Patrol can work in potentially reducing crime.
“When dog owners walk their animals, they oftentimes have one mission and that is to allow their dog to do its business,” said Sgt. Brian Sawyer of the CCSO Crime Prevention Unit. “We want you to know that your dog’s time can solve a crime.”
CCSO launched the campaign at the Humane Society of Naples in December to highlight one of the many cooperative efforts that the Sheriff’s Office has with organizations in the community. The campaign encourages pet owners to be cognizant of their surroundings while outside walking their pet. The idea is that pet owners know their community and can recognize suspicious people, vehicles, and activity better than anyone.
Do not just focus on your pet, be aware of your surroundings. Have your smartphone with you. It will allow you to call law enforcement if you see something suspicious. If you see activity that is suspicious or a crime in progress, contact local law enforcement immediately. Gather as much information as you can such as your location, the type of activity that is occurring and whether a person and/or a vehicle is involved, along with a description.
If you can safely do so, take a picture of the person and/or vehicle. If it is a non-emergency, contact the Collier County Sheriff ’s Office non-emergency line at 239-252-9300. If it could be a crime in progress, call 911. If you have information on past occurred crimes or people who are involved in criminal activity, call the CCSO TIPS line at 239-775-8477, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a possible reward call Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS. You can also email CCSO at TIPS@colliersheriff.org