The Phoenix Neighborhood Patrol is taking an active approach to keeping Phoenix neighborhoods safe.

“Phoenix neighborhood patrol is basically a block watch,” said Ron Tweedy, who has been helping patrol South Mountain Precinct for about 15 years. “We’re just a little more proactive. People in a block watch put a sign up and look out their window and report incidents, as every citizen should. We actually get in the cars and do patrols.”

PNPers are certified through the city to be extra eyes and ears for the police department. They patrol neighborhoods and shopping centers and search for any suspicious activity. If they notice something they may call police or just write it down for police to go over later. They’re encouraged to avoid confrontation.

“Our main thing is just to report and document what you see,” Tweedy said. “We don’t confront anyone. I just tell people if they see something to just drive by and go around the corner to call 911 or Crime Stop. We have the upper hand. It’ll be OK.”

Tweedy first got involved in the PNP program when a neighbor approached him about cleaning up their mobile home park at 40th Street and Baseline Road. Tweedy met with local police and went through their training and he’s stuck with it ever since.

“It’s amazing what a difference the program makes,” Tweedy said. “Before you went through the program you could walk through a parking lot and not see anything. Now my wife and I are looking all the time. Pretty soon you get to where you can see things you didn’t see before. You really develop eyes in the back of your head. You start seeing things you just didn’t notice before.”

The program is paid for through block watch grants. The grants provide the group with shirts, magnetic signs for their cars and radios to help patrollers coordinate their efforts.

Phoenix is hosting PNP training on Sept. 15 from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the Mountain View Precinct, 2075 E. Maryland Ave. To qualify for the program you must be a Phoenix resident, at least 18 years old, and possess a valid driver’s license or Arizona identification card.

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