Dog Walker Watch program launches in Wheat Ridge

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo — A new program is launching this month to teach people who are walking their dogs to identify suspicious behavior.

The Wheat Ridge Police Department will hold training classes, with the first planned for July 11 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The first class at police headquarters at 7500 W. 29th Ave. is free and open to Wheat Ridge residents. Dogs must be licensed.

“This is a great way for residents and their four-legged friends to help local law enforcement as they do what they do every day, walk through the community,” Wheat Ridge police chief Dan Brennan said.

“What we ask is if dog walkers see suspicious behavior like seeing someone attempting to open car doors along neighborhood streets, someone trespassing behind building/houses or cars driving around with their lights off after dark that they make a call to 911 or our non-emergency line.

“If your instincts are telling you something doesn’t look right it probably isn’t.”

Dog guardians and owners who attend training (dogs can stay home) will be presented with a certificate signed by Brennan.

Those participating will also receive a special neckerchief for their four-legged companion to wear as they “patrol” the neighborhood on their daily walks as an honorary K-9.

The program encourages neighbors to assist law enforcement as extra eyes and ears while walking their dog.

The program enhances the partnership between police and community while providing resources so neighbors can be more aware and learn how to effectively observe and report suspicious activity.

Pet guardians/owners can register for the program. Registration for the next class on Aug. 7 will be required in-person at National Night Out on Aug. 1 at Hayward Park in Wheat Ridge.